PETALING JAYA: Shuttlers Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying finally come good to win their first title of the season.
Third seeds Peng Soon-Liu Ying, runners-up at the Thailand Masters in February, rose to the occasion to beat youngsters Zheng Siwei-Li Yinhui of China 21-19, 22-20 in the mixed doubles final of the New Zealand Open in Auckland.
World No. 13 Peng Soon-Liu Ying were on the back foot from the start. They were trailing 11-15 but caught up at the end to nick the first game.
Siwei-Yinhui, the Malaysian Masters winners in January, again came out firing in the second game to lead 7-3.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying, however, banked on their experience to narrow the deficit. Despite trailing 19-20, the Malaysians fought back to grab the next three points to win the 45-minute clash. It was Peng Soon-Liu Ying’s seventh career title.
It was certainly a perfect week for Peng Soon-Liu Ying as they had also stunned top seeds and world No.4 Ko Sung-hyun-Kim Ha-na of South Korea in the semi-finals.
“I’m really happy to win our first title of the year. It was a tough match but we didn’t give up and came back several times,” said the 27-year-old Peng Soon.
Liu Ying, 26, added that the win was a huge confidence boost ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.
“We’re really glad to pull through as we were both quite nervous during the final,” said Liu Ying.
“It was a close battle but the right attitude and experience helped us through it.”
South Korea were the biggest winners of the day, clinching two titles through Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol (men’s doubles) and Sung Ji-hyun (women’s singles).
China’s Huang Yuxiang claimed the men’s singles crown while Japan’s Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota were the women’s doubles champions.
Men’s singles: Huang Yuxiang (Chn) bt Riichi Takeshita (Jpn) 21-12, 21-17.
Men’s doubles: Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol (Kor) bt Angga Pratama-Ricky Karanda Suwardi (Ina) 21-18, 21-14.
Women’s singles: Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) bt Aya Ohori (Jpn) 21-15, 21-17.
Women’s doubles: Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) bt Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) 21-13, 21-16.
Mixed doubles: Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) bt Zheng Siwei-Li Yinhui (Chn) 21-19, 22-20.