SHAH ALAM: The day belonged to Malaysia's hottest badminton property, Datuk Lee Chong Wei. He outplayed the world No.1 and defending champion Chen Long 21-13, 21-8 in the final to secure an awesome 11th Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open Superseries Premier title here today.
It was a brilliant performance from Chong Wei who was fired up by the thunderous support he received from the 10,000 plus fans who had packed the stadium hours earlier. The win made up for his absence last year and also the early losses he suffered at the All-England and India Open.
"Frankly, I did not expect to win in straight sets. But I was motivated to give my best in the final as it was the Malaysia Open which I missed last year," said Chong Wei. "I wish to thank my coaches and all the fans for their tremendous support. Much had been said about my recent defeats but it does not matter. Today, I showed that I am still there with plenty of badminton in me.
In the semi-finals, Chen Long defeated Indonesian youngster Christie Jonatan 8-21, 21-19, 21-14 while Chong Wei cruised past Denmark's fifth seed Jan O Jorgensen 21-7, 21-14.
Chong Wei said that he is "highly motivated" because of the Rio Olympics and will also play in the Asian Badminton Championships in Wuhan in China from April 26-May 1. He will also lead Malaysia's charge to the Thomas Cup Finals in Kunshan from May 15-22.
Chen Long was gracious in defeat and the head-to-head count now stands at 12-all after 24 matches.
"Congratulations to Chong Wei for winning his 11th Malaysia Open title. This is the first time I played on centre court and had difficulty adjusting to the windy conditions," said Chen Long. "Chong Wei is a senior player and has my respect. I lost but earning Olympics points is more important for me at this stage."
RESULTS (All Finals)
2-Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt 1-Chen Long (Chn) 21-13, 21-8 (42 mins)
5-Kim Gi Jung-Kim Sa Rang (Kor) bt 4-Chai Biao-Hong Wei (Chn) 21-19, 21-15 (36 mins)
4-Ratchanok Inthanon (Tha) bt Tai Tzu Ying (Tai) 21-14, 21-15, (39 mins)
5-Tang Yuanting-Yu Yang (chn) bt 7-Jung Kyung Eun-Shin Seung Chan (Kor) 21-11, 21-17 (40 mins)
2-Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Ina) bt Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 21-23, 21-13, 16-21 (1hr 21 mins)