Badminton

Published: Sunday January 19, 2014 MYT 10:50:00 PM
Updated: Sunday January 19, 2014 MYT 10:53:11 PM

Li’s comeback is a sweet success

CHINA’s Li Xuerui made a successful return from injury to win her first Maybank Malaysian Open title at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The world No. 1 proved too strong for compatriot Wang Shixian, winning 21-16, 21-17 in the women’s singles final on Sunday.

And Xuerui thanked her lucky stars after pulling off the victory.

“I am delighted to win this title for the first time here in Malaysia. After suffering from injury at the end of last year, I was doubtful about my performance. But luck was on my side today,” said Xuerui.

“I skipped last week’s Korean Open to make sure I will be fit for this tournament. I didn’t want to aggravate my injury and thought the Malaysian Open would have been the appropriate place for me to return to the fray,” added the 23-year-old.

Her decision proved to be a right one and she is now eyeing the prestigious All-England crown in March.

The 24-year-old Shixian, who is ranked fourth in the world, vowed to get her revenge against Xuerui.

“This year I want to rise up and win more titles,” said Shixian, who won the French and Swiss Opens last season.

Besides the women’s singles, China also clinched the women’s doubles and mixed doubles titles.

In the mixed doubles final, Ma Jin-Xu Chen downed Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen 21-11, 17-21, 21-13.

Bao Yixin-Tang Jinhua were triumphant in the women’s doubles, beating Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi 21-19, 14-21, 21-13 in a titanic final.

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