Depending on how you look at it., China won four or all five divisions at the Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur, including a remarkable battle in the men’s Singles between the gold medalists at the last three Olympic Games.
That would be the legendary Dan Lin, now 35 and the winner in Beijing and London, and Long Chen, 30, the 2016 victor. Chen only lost one set on his way to the finals, but Lin labored more, with three of his first four matches going to three sets. In the final, Chen won the first set easily, 21-9, but then Lin came back with impressive 21-17 and 21-11 wins to claim the $49,000 first prize and his career title in the Malaysia Open.
“My performance last year was not ideal. As a result I was under a lot of pressure and I had doubts about myself,” said Lin afterwards. “I have been playing for so many years, now that I’m at the tail end of my career, I hope everyone can understand that it’s normal that my form fluctuates. I feel that I played well in this Malaysia Open because I was very determined, in good form and hungry for victory. I didn’t play at an exceptionally high level in this tournament, all I did was stick to my strategy and play to my strengths.”
The women’s Singles crown was no surprise: no. 1-ranked Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei, who won her third straight Malaysia Open title and fourth overall, defeating no. 4 Akane Yamaguchi (JPN) in the final in straight sets.
China swept all of the Doubles matches, with all-China finals in the women’s and Mixed divisions. No. 2-ranked Junjui Li and Yuchen Liu took the men’s Doubles over no. 3 Takesi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda (JPN) in straight sets and Qingchen Chen and Yifan Jia won the women’s title over Yue Du and Yunhui Li, also in straight sets.
No. 1-ranked Siwei Zhang and Yaqiong Huang won their second straight Malaysia Open title, defeating Yilyu Wang and Dongping Huang, 21-17, 21-13. Summaries:
BWF World Tour/Malaysia Open
Kuala Lumpur (MAS) ~ 2-7 April 2019
(Full results here)
Men’s Singles: 1. Dan Lin (CHN); 2. Long Chen (CHN); 3. Jonaton Christie (INA) and Yuqi Shi (CHN). Semis: Chen d. Christie, 12-21, 21-10, 21-15; Lin d. Shi, 21-19, 16-21, 21-12. Final: Lin d. Chen, 9-21, 21-17, 21-11.
Men’s Doubles: 1. Junhui Li/Yuchen Liu (CHN); 2. Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (JPN); 3. Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto (INA) and Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kopbayashi (JPN). Semis: Kamura/Sonoda d. Alfian/Ardianto, 21-13, 22-20; Li/Liu d. Hoki/Kobayashi, 13-21, 21-19, 21-15. Final: Li/Liu d. Kamura/Sonoda, 21-12, 21-17.
Women’s Singles: 1. Tzu Ying Tai (TPE); 2. Akane Yamaguchi (JPN); 3. Yufei Chen (CHN) and Nozomi Okuhara (JPN). Semis: Tai d. Chen, 21-14, 21-19; Yamaguchi d. Okuhara, 21-15, 22-20. Final: Tai d. Yamaguchi, 21-16, 21-19.
Women’s Doubles: 1. Qingchen Chen/Yifan Jia (CHN); 2. Yue Du/Yinhui Li (CHN); 3. Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai (THA) and Ye Na Chang/Kyung Eun Jung (KOR). Semis: Du/Li d. Kititharakul/Prajongjai, 21-12, 21-14; Chen/Jia d. Chang/Jung, 21-14, 21-18. Final: Chen/Jia d. Du/Li, 21-14, 21-15.
Mixed Doubles: 1. Siwei Zhang/Yaqiong Huang (CHN); 2. Yilyu Wang/Dongping Huang (CHN); 3. Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai (THA) and Kian Meng Tan/Pei Jing Lai (MAS). Semis: Zheng/Huang d. Puavaranukroh/Taerattanachai, 21-14, 21-9; Wang/Huang d. Tan/Lai, 21-13, 21-17. Final: Zhang/Huang d. Wang/Huang, 21-17, 21-13.