Lin Dan is back!

By April 7, 2019 April 8th, 2019 Newsroom

Kian Meng-Pei Jing gets timely boost ahead of Olympic qualification period

BUKIT JALIL (7 April 2019): Super Dan is back! Lin Dan showed he is back to take on the world when he won the men’s singles after a thrilling final against compatriot, Chen Long at the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open 2019 held at the Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil today.

The mercurial Chinese ace showed that he still has what it takes to take on all comers, entertaining the crowd with his superb court control and deft touch to win 9-21, 21-17, 21-11 for his second Malaysia Open crown after 2017.

The occasion was made more memorable when Lin Dan’s medal was presented by none other than his close adversary on court and lifelong friend, Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

“This is the first time I received my winning prize from Chong Wei, before this, he is the rival that I defeated to emerge the winner for the first time at the Malaysia Open.

“I hope we can meet up on court again after this,” added Lin Dan.

Commenting on his win, Lin Dan said, “This win is an indication that my training is beginning to bear fruit. In the previous tournament, I will always lose in the first round. Winning here means that my nightmare has ended.

“I want to say thank you to the fans who even took the trouble to write me a letter, providing me support when I was down,” he added.

The world no 16 has been under the radar since May 2018 when he won the New Zealand Open with this win indicating that the southpaw is still one of the players to watch at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

The women’s doubles also went to China when Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan defeated Du Yue-Li Yinhui in an all Chinese affair, 21-14 21-15.

In the mixed doubles, it was another title in the bag for China when Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong emerged champions, defeating compatriots, Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping, 21-17 21-13.

China made it four out of five when their men’s doubles and second seeds, Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen overthrew defending champions, Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda from Japan, 21-12, 21-17.

Only the women’s singles was out of their grasp as it was decided by defending champion and Taiwanese, Tai Tzu Ying and fourth seed, Akane Yamaguchi from Japan. Tzu Ying won 21-16, 21-19 for her fourth title with three of those coming back to back from 2017.

Even though Malaysia missed out on having a representative in the final after mixed doubles pair, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing lost in the semi-finals yesterday, it was still a good achievement given that little hope was placed on them on progressing beyond the first round in this tournament.

The world number 37 had performed beyond expectations, pulling off a stunning upset against world number three, Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino from Japan in the opening round, followed by a win against India’s, Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Reddy N. Sikki and overcoming Tontowi Ahmad-Winny Oktavina Kandow from Indonesia in the quarter finals before falling to finalists, Yilyu-Dongping.

Mixed doubles coach, Chin Eei Hui said, “For Kian Meng-Pei Jing, it is still an impressive achievement for them as previously they always failed to progress beyond the first round.

“Even though they lost, it is a still a confidence booster for Kian Meng-Pei Jing. I hope that they will continue to be consistent and improve their performance.

“Their form is now below their actual level compared to the other pairs in the top 10 in the world rankings but I am confident they can use what they have learned in this tournament for the future,” added Eei Hui.

Malaysia Open 2019 results (final):

MS LIN Dan (China) bt CHEN Long (China) 9-21 21-17 21-11

WS TAI Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei) bt Akane YAMAGUCHI (Japan) 21-16 21-19

MD LI Junhui-LIU Yuchen (China) bt Takeshi KAMURA-Keigo SONODA (Japan) 21-12 21-17

WD CHEN Qingchen-JIA Yifan (China) bt DU Yue-LI Yinhui (China) 21-14 21-15

XD ZHENG Siwei-HUANG Yaqiong (China) bt Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (China) 21-17 21-13