Lee Chong Wei maintained his stranglehold in the $250,000 Yonex Sunrise India Open winning his third title while Wang Shixian clinched her maiden trophy at the Siri Fort Sports Complex on Sunday.
On a day when one would have expected the Indians to be glued to their television sets to watch the Twenty20 final between India and Sri Lanka, the gathering of thousands at the badminton hall, lending their voices in cheering the shuttlers, made for an electrifying atmosphere.
The fact was not lost on Lee, who has always enjoyed a tremendous support here. The 31-year old Malaysian, who also won in 2011 and 2013, overcame a familiar foe in World No 2 Chen Long 21-13,21-17.
“I would like to thank the fans. If I remain injury free this year, then I might come back for India Open. I dedicate this victory to my son who will turn one (years old) next week,” said Lee.
Earlier, All England Champion Shixian Wang, seeded second, upset World No 1 and top seed Li Xuerui 22-20, 21-19.
In a rematch of All England final, the two best men’s players in the world enthralled with their sheer range of strokes.
Lee’s ability to change the pace of his game at will, often caught Chen on the wrong foot. The Malaysian’s wristy returns would suddenly turn into a flurry of smashes, executed to perfection with a ferocious leap into the air.
Even as Chen huffed and puffed at the other end, Lee -- with the calm and focus of a skilled artisan -- appeared at ease giving finishing touches to his strokes.
His defence was impregnable and some of the returns off Chen's smashes were astonishing.
The opening game was replete with fast and thrilling exchanges but Lee succeeded in maintaining a healthy lead to comfortably go up.
Chen saved his best for the second game and matched Chong Wei stroke for stroke to add to the excitement.
The Chinese led 11-10 at the break and Lee had to work hard to level. It was only at 16 that Lee came on par with Chen, and immediately took the lead after an exhausting rally.
A service error at 19-17 from Chen gave Lee the match point, and the World No 1 sealed it when the return from the Chinese sailed long.
The normally poker faced Malaysian celebrated by punching the air and kissing his jersey.
In women singles, Wang took early lead to move up 14-10 in the first game.
Though Xuerui fought back to hold two game points at 20-18, she made errors at crucial points. Wang went on to gain a game point and converted it with a smash.
Xuerui dictated the points in the second game but Wang evened things out at 13. From there on both the players conceded leads several times.
At 18-18, a long return from Xuerui pushed Wang ahead. The World No 1 followed it up with two net errors to lose the game and the match.
Results (all final): Men's singles: 1-Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt 2-Chen Long (Chn) 21-13, 21-17.
Doubles: 2-Mathias Boe/ Carsten Mogensen (Den) bt 3-Liu Xiaolong/ Qiu Zihan (Chn) 17-21, 21-15, 21-15.
Women singles: 2-Shixian Wang (Chn) bt 1-Li Xuerui (Chn) 22-20, 21-19.
Doubles: Yuanting Tang/ Yang Yu (Chn) bt Kyung Eun Jung/ Ha Na Kim (Kor) 21-10, 13-21, 21-16.
Mixed doubles: 3-Joachim Fischer Neilsen/ Christinna Pedersen (Den) bt 4-Sung Hyun Ko/ Ha Na Kim (Kor) 21-16, 18-21, 21-18.