South Korea trounces China in Malaysia Masters

Son Wan-Ho of South Korea during the men’s singles semi-final match at the China Open 2017 Badminton Championships in Fuzhou, Nov 18, 2017. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: South Korea’s Son Wan-ho put on a masterful display of badminton to easily beat China’s Chen Long 21-17, 21-19 and clinch the Malaysia Masters title Sunday.

Chen appeared no match for Son throughout their showdown, with the South Korean hitting impressive baseline smashes and pushing his opponent to make a series of unforced errors.

After Son cruised through the opening game, third seed Chen put up more resistance in the second — but the South Korean stood firm to clinch victory.

Son, seeded fourth in the Kuala Lumpur tournament, benefited from an extra rest day after his semi-final opponent Liew Daren conceded a walkover Saturday due to an injury.

“Matches against Chen Long are always tough, so I am honoured to become champion,” said Son, who takes away $26,250 for the win.

“I have played him many times, but the final environment can be tricky sometimes.”

Malaysian badminton ace Lee Chong Wei, who recently returned to training after recovering from nose cancer, presented prizes to the winners.

In the women’s singles, Ratchanok Intanon successfully defended her title with a 21-9, 22-20 triumph over Spain’s Carolina Marin.

The Thai ace was totally dominant in the first game. Marin fought back in the second, racking up seven consecutive points but Ratchanok kept her at bay and took the match.

“I just tried to be relaxed and enjoy the occasion as defending champion,” she said.

“I noticed that (Marin) was struggling to control the shuttle, and I thought that I had to play my best. Today is my day.”

In the men’s doubles, world number one pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia were outstanding in their 21-15, 21-16 win over Malaysian duo Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.

Men’s singles

Son Wan-ho (KORx4) bt Chen Long (CHNx3) 21-17, 21-19

Women’s Singles

Ratchanok Intanon (THAx6) bt Carolina Marin (ESPx4) 21-9, 22-20

Men’s Doubles

Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INAx1) bt Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi (MAS) 21-15, 21-16

Women’s Doubles

Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (JPNx1) bt Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu (INAx4) 18-21, 21-16, 21-16

Mixed Doubles

Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino (JPNx1) bt Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai (THAx2) 21-18, 21-18