Monday October 29, 2012
Daren makes breakthrough with Super Series title triumph
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
PETALING JAYA: National elite shuttler Liew Daren finally achieved the breakthrough he badly desired by stunning Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 21-18, 21-17 in just 42 minutes to win the French Open Super Series yesterday.
That victory ensured the 25-year-old Darenís first major title in the international senior scene.
It was a sterling performance from Daren considering the fact that in the past he always choked when it mattered most.
But the KL-born shuttler has been in tremendous form in Paris. He found his mojo in the famous city and defeated higher ranked opponents such as Sho Sasaki of Japan, Hu Yun (Hong Kong) and Jan O Jorgensen (Denmark) en route to the final.
And the lanky Daren, with his confidence soaring high, got off to a best possible start against the former world junior champion by winning the first game 21-18.
Although Axelsen showed some initiative to force a comeback in the second set, Daren was not to be denied as he sealed his first major victory crown winning 21-17.
This win could also mean a new beginning for the shuttler as it is a good sign that he is stepping out of Lee Chong Weiís shadow, Malaysiaís and the world No. 1 ranked player.
Daren, however, was speechless over his win.
ďIím really happy right now because I canít believe that I actually won. Iím quite speechless at the moment,Ē said Daren when contacted in Paris.
ďI want to thank all those who had been supportive of me throughout these years Ö especially my coaches.
ďMost important, I also want to thank my parents. They were not here to witness my first win so this is for them.Ē
National singles coach Rashid Sidek praised Darenís performance and believed that it is the kick start he needs in his career.
ďHe really played well and his performance was something to be proud off,Ē said Rashid.
ďNo one expected him to win but he did just that. This is the start he needs to go on and become even better.
ďFor all the years that Iíve trained him, this was definitely one of Darenís best ever performance,Ē added Rashid.
Meanwhile, in womenís doubles, Ma Jin-Tang Jinhua delivered a double Danish misery by beating top seeds Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl 21-12, 23-21.
Menís Singles: Liew Daren (Mas) bt Jan O Jorgensen (Den) 18-21, 21-17, 21-10; Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Kenichi Tago (Jpn) 21-8, 21-17.
Menís Doubles: Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae (Kor) bt Kim Kijung- Kim Sa-rang (Kor) 21-14, 22-20; Bodin Isaara-Maneepong Jongjit (Thai) bt Hong Wei-Shen Ye (Chn) 21-17, 21-11.
Womenís Singles: Mitani Minatsu (Jpn) bt Eriko Hirose (Jpn) 21-19, 21-10.
Womenís Doubles: Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den) bt Shizuka Matsuo-Mami Naito (Jpn) 24-22, 21-18.
Menís Singles: Liew Daren (Mas) bt Viktor Axelsen (Den) 21- 18, 21-17.
Womenís Singles: Mitani Minatsu (Jpn) bt Saina Nehwal (Ind) 21-19, 21-11.
Womenís Doubles: Ma Jin-Tang Jinhua (Chn) bt Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den) 21-12, 23-21.