World No 1 Tzu Ying beaten as Ratchanok wins Malaysia Masters
(*Credit image: The Nation )
It was the story of current world No 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and two former World No 1 women badminton players - Spain's Carolina Marin and Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon - in the USD350,00 Malaysia Masters which ended in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
In the end it was Intanon who ended the story by winning the women's singles title and pocket the USD26,250 in prize money that came with it after her 65-minute battle to defeat Tzu Ying 21-16, 14-21, 24-22 in the final.
"It was difficult to control the shuttle with the drift...but my calmness won the match for me," said Intanon,
The defeat was hard to swallow for Tzu Ying who was a dejected figure when she netted Intanon's service...more so after she was leading 17-14 in the rubber and looked set for victory..
In the semi-finals played on Saturday Tzu Ying, the top seed, defeated reigning Olympic champion Marin 12-21, 21-15, 23-21 in a titanic 79-minute encounter while Intanon, seeded fifth, ousted second seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan also in three-games - prevailing 21-15, 16-21, 21-19 in 70 minutes.
Japan's unseeded Kenta Nishimoto, made current world No 1 and world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark slog for the men's singles title.
The lanky Dane, who described his victory as a "big win" needed 72 minutes to subdue the gritty Japanese 21-13, 21-23, 21-18.
It was a bad day for China in the finals - losing both the mixed doubles and the women's doubles in the opening two finals.
Hong Kong's Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet, the second seeds, overcame China's fifth seeds Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong 19-21, 22-20, 21-18 to pocket USD27,650. The losers settled for USD13,300.
Favourites and top seeds Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan went down in straight games 22-20, 21-18 to Denmark's third seeds Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen in the women's doubles final.
There was also heartbreak for Malaysia in the men's doubles final. Former world No 1 and Rio Olympics silver medal winners Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong could not keep the pace and momentum after winning the first game against Indonesia's Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto.
The 21-year-old Indonesians won 14-21, 24-22, 21-13 for their first major title which left them thrilled.
RESULTS (ALL FINALS)
Viktor Axelsen (DEN) beat Kenta Nishimoto (JPN) 21-13, 21-23
Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto (INA) beat Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (MAS) 14-21, 24-22, 21-13
Ratchanok Intanon (THA) beat Tai Tzu Ying (TPE) 21-16, 14-21, 24-22
Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen (DEN) beat Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (CHN) 22-20, 21-18
Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet (HKG) beat Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (CHN) 19-21, 22-20, 21-18