Yu-jen raises eyebrows with stunner over Nishimoto in Syed Modi final

PETALING JAYA: Taiwanese shuttler Chi Yu-jen (pic) has crowned his great run with the Syed Modi International title.

The world No. 48 stunned Japan’s world No. 12 Kenta Nishimoto 20-22, 21-12, 21-17 in a thrilling men’s singles final in Lucknow yesterday.

Nishimoto started as the overwhelming favourite but the little known Yu-jen battled brilliantly to upstage his much higher ranked opponent in 79 minutes.

The hard-fought victory was even sweeter for the 26-year-old as it was his maiden World Tour title.

It was another heartbreak for Nishimoto who had missed out on a spot in the season-ending World Tour Finals from Dec 13-17 in Hangzhou after coming out second best to teammate Kodai Naraoka in the China Masters final last week.

There was also despair for Japan in the mixed doubles after Yuki Kaneko-Misaki Matsutomo went down 22-20, 19-21, 23-25 to Indonesia’s Dejan Ferdinansyah-Gloria Emmanuelle.

It was the Indonesians first title of the year.

Meanwhile, national men’s doubles pair Choong Hon Jian-Mohd Haikal Nazri made it into the final after toppling England’s world No. 23 Ben Lane-Sean Vendy 21-12, 21-19.

Hon Jian-Haikal, who were only paired up in August, played aggressively to record the impressive win in just 39 minutes.

The pair will go up against Japan’s world No. 16 Akira Koga-Taichi Saito for the title.

Koga-Saito had to dig deep to beat Denmark’s Rasmus Kjaer-Frederik Sogaard 18-21, 21-15, 21-16 in another last-four match.

Semi-finals Men’s singles:

Kenta Nishimoto (Jpn) bt Alex Lanier (Fra) 21-17, 13-21, 21-17; Chi Yu-jen (Tpe) bt Priyanshu Rajawat (Ind) 18-21, 21-14, 21-17. Men’s doubles: Choong Hon Jian-Mohd Haikal Nazri (Mas) bt Ben Lane-Sean Vendy (Eng) 21-12, 21-19; Akira Koga-Taichi Saito (Jpn) bt Rasmus Kjaer-Frederik Sogaard (Den) 18-21, 21-15, 21-16.

Women’s singles:

Line Kjaersfeldt (Den) bt Wen Chi-hsu (Tpe) 14-21, 21-17, 21-16. Women’s doubles: Rin Iwanaga-Kie Nakanishi (Jpn) bt Setyana Mapasa-Angela Yu (Aus) 17-21, 21-17, 21-15; Tanisha Crasto-Ashwini Ponnappa (Ind) bt Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) 10-11 (ret.).

Final Men’s singles:

Chi Yu-jen (Tpe) bt Kenta Nishimoto (Jpn) 20-22, 21-12, 21-17.

Mixed doubles:

Dejan Ferdinansyah-Gloria Emanuelle (Ina) bt Yuki Kaneko-Misaki Matsutomo (Jpn) 20-22, 21-19, 25-23.

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