PETALING JAYA: Shuttler Lee Chong Wei capped a successful week by winning the Indonesia Open title for a record-equalling sixth time.
By reaching the final, the 33-year-old Chong Wei cemented his return to the world No. 1 spot. He will replace China’s Chen Long when the new ranking list is released on Thursday.
And the two-time Olympic silver medallist puts the icing on the cake by completing a superb comeback to beat world No. 5 Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark 17-21, 21-19, 21-17 in the final at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta on Sunday.
The win ensured that Chong Wei becomes only the third shuttler and the first non-Indonesian to win the title for a sixth time.
He had also won in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Chong Wei is now tied with Indonesian greats Ardy Wiranata (1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997) and Taufik Hidayat (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006) since the tournament’s inception in 1982.
“I’m really happy to win the title for the sixth time here in Indonesia. It’s quite an achievement for me,” said Chong Wei.
“I really have to thank the crowd for cheering for me. It made me feel like I was playing at home.”
The Penangite certainly rode on the crowd’s support as he fought tooth-and-nail to overcome a determined Jorgensen.
The Dane adopted an aggressive approach and put Chong Wei under pressure from the start to take the first game 21-17.
Jorgensen, who played a vital role in Denmark’s Thomas Cup Finals triumph, again had his nose in front in the second game as he led 19-17.
But Chong Wei coolly took four straight points to force a deciding rubber.
And the Malaysian never looked back, leading 13-10 and 20-14 before capturing his 64th career title after 65 minutes.
His fourth win of the year earned a cool US$67,500 (RM276,000). Jorgensen pocketed US$34,200 (RM140,000) for his efforts.
The Malaysian No. 1 will now head for the Australian Open, which starts in Sydney on Tuesday. He will take on Indonesian youngster Jonatan Christie in the first round.
The Australian Open will be Chong Wei’s last tournament before he begins preparing for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.
In men’s doubles, world No. 1 Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong of South Korea had to battle hard to beat China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei 13-21, 21-13, 21-14 for their second Indonesian Open title.
Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi won the women’s doubles while China’s Xu Chen-Ma Jin bagged the mixed doubles crown.