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Lee, Shixian triumph

New Delhi: Malaysian world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and Wang Shixian of China, bagged the men’s and women’s singles titles, respectively, of the Yonex Sunrise India Open Super Series, at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here on Sunday.

Though Lee Chong and Shixian won their matches in straight games, both had to fight hard for every point in front of an appreciative Sunday crowd, and the level of badminton on display was pretty high.

While Lee Chong overcame world No. 2 Chen Long of China 21-13, 21-17 in 55 minutes, Shixian defeated compatriot Li Xuerui 22-20, 21-19 in a closely-fought match that lasted 47 minutes.

Li is currently the world No. 1 and the reigning Olympic champion. On Sunday, she did play some breathtaking shots, but finally had to bow to the accuracy and consistency of Shixian, who leaped high in the air to celebrate after Li slammed the shuttle into the net to lose the match.

Interestingly, the finals of the India Open turned out to be exact replays of this year’s All-England championships, with the same outcomes.

“I was confident ahead of the match, as I had recently defeated her in the All- England,” said Shixian later. “I knew her game. Last year my game wasn’t stable. There were lots of ups and downs. So this season my target is to stay fit,” she added.

Shixian did not find a place in the Chinese national team during the London Olympics in 2012 as only three top ranked players from a country were allowed to play.

Since then, Shixian has been playing extremely well and has risen to No. 3 in rankings. The India Open trophy on Sunday was her 11th Super Series title.

The men’s final between Lee Chong and Long was a high-voltage clash, with both engaging in long rallies for every point. Both looked superbly fit and played some amazing shots. The Malaysian, however, had the upper hand from the beginning and played an all-round game. His smashes fetched several points.