Monday June 22, 2009
Fearless Chong Wei stuns Taufik
PETALING JAYA: Intimidation from the Indonesian fans did not stop Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei from defeating local favourite Taufik Hidayat to lift the Indonesia Open men’s singles title at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta yesterday.
The world No. 1 carved out a stunning 21-9, 21-14 win over Taufik to justify his top billing in the eighth leg of the Super Series. It was the second time that Chong Wei won the title after 2007.
Chong Wei was in total command of the match against the six-time Indonesian Open champion, who has left the national team to fend on his own as an independent player.
The win for Chong Wei certainly made up for the disappointment of losing to Vietnamese Nguyen Tien Minh in the second round of the preceding Singapore Open.
National singles chief coach Rashid Sidek was happy with Chong Wei’s quick rebound in form.
”Chong Wei showed strong mental strength today. He did not let the spectators get to him. Instead, he was confident all the way,” he said.
“Even a short spell in the second game did not get him down. Instead, he showed the true quality of a world No. 1 player in his game against Taufik.
“It is a great day for Malaysia. It is the first time that we have won two titles in the Indonesia Open.”
Malaysia’s other title came in the women’s doubles through world No. 1 Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty, who defeated Cheng Shu-Zhao Yunley of China.
On the next assignment in the Malaysian Open Gold Grand Prix, which begins on Wednesday in Johor Baru, Rashid predicts another final encounter between Chong Wei and Taufik.
“They are the top two seeds and barring any upsets and fatigue, I hope Chong Wei can go all the way to win the Open at home too,” he said.
“Chong Wei definitely played better than he did in the Singapore Open. He is certainly shaping up well for the world championships (in India in August).”
Meanwhile, Lee Yong-dae of South Korea made up for his disappointment in the mixed doubles by winning the men’s doubles title with Jung Jae-sung. The duo played superbly to beat China’s Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng 21-15, 21-18 in a tight 43-minute battle.
Earlier, Yong-dae and his Olympic Games gold medal-winning mixed doubles partner, Lee Hyo-jung, went down 17-21, 21-8, 16-21 to China’s Zheng Bo-Ma Jin.