ODENSE (Denmark): There will be no birthday joy for world No.1 Lee Chong Wei as Chen Long produced a superb performance to win the Denmark Open on Sunday.
Chong Wei who turns 31 on Monday just couldn’t gain control of the match as world No.2 Chen Long took a worthy 24-22, 21-19 win in 68 minutes.
The Chinese ace raced to an 8-5 lead in the first game but Chong Wei turned it around to lead 14-11 at one point.
Chen Long however took four straight points and the pressure was always on Chong Wei in the first game.
He saved two game points from 18-20 down but just couldn’t pull away as Chen Long eventually wrapped up the first game.
Chen Long, who won the All England this year, started strongly once more in the second game and was ahead 12-5 at one point.
Although Chong Wei did well to pull back at 18-18, Chen Long had the momentum and was just too strong in the end.
It was his second Danish title since 2011 and it puts his head-to-head with Chong Wei at seven-apiece.
“Chen Long definitely played better today and he was picking up everything I threw at him. I just couldn’t finish him off,” said Chong Wei.
“I was also making too many simple mistakes and I wasn’t patient enough in dealing with him.
“Plus, he was very fast today and I just couldn’t keep up with him.
“In the second game he took a huge lead and although I relaxed myself and took it one point at a time, I just couldn’t convert the crucial points.
“It’s probably not the best birthday gift for myself but it’s okay. I’m not too disappointed with my own performance,” added Chong Wei.
Chen Long meanwhile pointed out that while the win was great, he still had a lot to learn from Chong Wei.
“He has been a professional badminton player longer than me and he’s really a great role model,” said Chen Long.
“The way he has kept his level at the top is amazing and its something young shuttlers like me should learn from.”
China were the big winners of the Danish meet, taking home four of the four finals they competed in.
Earlier, Wang Yihan had bagged the women’s singles title with a gruelling three-setter win over South Korea’s Sung Ji-hyun while Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei toppled world champions Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia 21-11, 22-20 to win the mixed doubles title.
Unseeded Bao Yixin-Tang Jinhua claimed the women’s doubles title by beating home favourites Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl 21-16, 21-13.
The only non-Chinese winners came from South Korea’s Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong who smashed their way past Indonesian world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 21-19, 21-16 for the men’s doubles title.