KUALA LUMPUR: Top seeds Liang Wei Keng-Wang Chang proved why they are the current world’s best men’s doubles pair as they recovered from a game down to clinch the Malaysia Open 2024 title after fending off India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty in stunning fashion today.
In a thrilling final showdown in Axiata Arena, Wei Keng-Wang Chang were totally outplayed by Satwiksairaj-Chirag 9-21 in the opening game but the Chinese pair managed to turn the tables with a 21-18 victory in the second game to take the game into a decider.
Wei Keng-Wang Chang once again demonstrated mental resilience as they fought off a 5-10 deficit to level the score at 12-all before they rose to the occasion, winning 21-17 to secure the title and extend their fine record against Satwiksairaj-Chirag to four wins in five meetings.
Commenting on their performance today, Wang Chang said it was All England 2023 all over again as they found themselves in a losing position, down 10-21 before emerging victorious 21-17, 21-19, in the second round of the most prestigious badminton tournament in Birmingham.
“We also studied how our opponent managed to pull off their comeback in yesterday’s game against South Korea’s Kang Min-hyuk – Seo Seung-jae in the last four yesterday. If they (Satwiksairaj-Chirag) can do it, why can’t we,” he told reporters here today.
Yesterday, Satwiksairaj-Chirag produced one of the finest fightbacks when they saved six match points in the second game en route to defeating world champions Kang-Seo 21-18, 22-20 in the last four.
Wei Keng-Wang Chang’s victory also marked a second title for China after women’s doubles pair, Liu Sheng Shu-Tan Ning claimed their first Super 1000 title after the eighth seeds stunned fifth seeds and compatriots, Zhang Shu Xian-Zheng Yu 21-18, 21-18.
Sheng Shu admitted they were in a “dreamland” after securing their biggest career championship title so far.
“Of course we are happy with today’s win. Plus, we got more prize money,” she jested.
Their previous major title was the French Open 2023 (Super 750) when they defeated Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand 26-24, 21-19.
Each doubles champions of the Malaysia Open 2024 pocketed US$96,200 and a trophy each while the runners-up took home US$ 45,500 and a trophy each.