WONG Mew Choo played her heart out in an effort to end Malaysias 42-year drought in the women's singles but found Chinas Zhu Lin a cut above in the Malaysia Open final at the KLBA Stadium in Cheras yesterday.
Mew Choo, the World No 16, fought for every shot but could not crack the determination of the World No 9, who ran out a 21-15, 21-12 winner in 42 minutes.
The 24-year-old Malaysian's quarter-final win over joint-fifth seed Xu Huaiwen of Germany and her semi-final win over World No 14 Eriko Hirose of Japan both of which went into three games must have taken its toll on the player. While Mew Choo may have lost the final, she can take heart from the fact that she is the first Malaysian to reach the womens singles final of the Malaysian Open since 1983. The tournament was not held between 1967 and 1982.
But credit must also go to Zhu Lin who handled the pressure exceptionally well to win the title for China after the countrys top trio of World No 1 Zhang Ning, world champion Xie Xingfang and World No 8 Jiang Yanjiao all withdrew from the tournament at the eleventh hour.
Mew Choo and Zhu Lin matched each other point for point but it was Zhu Lin who broke away at the halfway point in both games and never looked back.
"I'm very happy to be in the final. It was very difficult for me to focus as I was physically very tired," said Mew Choo.
"Zhu Lin's drop shots and cross-court chops were very sharp and she constantly made chase for every shot.
"I want to fully recover first before I start thinking about the Korea Open."
The Korea Open begins tomorrow.
Zhu Lin said that she was happy to be the first winner of the womens singles in the Super Series.
"I dominated the second half of both games because Mew Choo was committing a lot of mistakes," said Zhu Lin.
"I had the responsibility to win for China after our top three players withdrew, and I am happy to have won".
Zhu Lin, who was beaten by Zhang Ning in the 2005 final, received US,800 (RM48,576) while Mew Choo collected US,520 (RM19,430).