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Lee trounces Kuncoro to lift crown


Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei returns a shot against Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro during their men’s singles final at the Malaysia Open. – AFP

Kuala Lumpur: World number one Lee Chong Wei trounced Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro 21-7, 21-8 to win a record nine Malaysia Badminton Open singles title Sunday. Lee dominated the court with flawless net play, strokes and lethal smashes and has now set his eyes on victory at the March All-England Superseries Premier.

The Malaysian has won his home country event every year since 2004, apart from in 2007 when victory went to Denmark's Peter Gade. The 30-year-old Lee was in top form, outfoxing three-time Asian champion Kuncoro time and again at the net.

The energetic Lee dominated his opponent from the start, sending the 29-year-old bronze medallist in the 2004 Athens Olympics scurrying to all four corners of the court. But Lee reserved some praise for Kuncoro.

"The pressure was very high on me to win the ninth title. The scoreline makes it look easy but it was tough. Sony was relentless, I had to keep lifting his shots, read his game before I can find the openings," he told reporters.

The home favourite's leaping smashes and controlled net play eventually gave him a one - sided victory over Kuncoro in just 32 minutes. Lee said he would now concentrate on the upcoming All - England in Birmingham.

In the women's singles final, 18-year-old Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan outfought China's Yao Xue 21-17, 21-14. The men's and women's singles champions earned $30,000 while the runner-up walked away with $15,200.

There was some joy for Europe as second seeded Danish pair Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen upset top seeded Malaysians Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying 21-13, 21-18 in the mixed doubles.  The Danes were a delight to watch as they dominated the young Malaysians at the front of the court.

"Malaysia is a lucky place for me. I won the women's doubles here last year (with Kamilla Rytter Juhl) and this year it is the mixed doubles," said Pedersen.

In other finals, Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan defeated South Korea's Ko Sung Hyun/Lee Yong Dae 21-15, 21-13, to win the men's doubles crown, while China's Bao Yixin/Tian Qing outplayed Matsutomo Misaki/Takahashi Ayaka of Japan 21-16, 21-14 to take home the women's doubles title. All the doubles champions walked away with $31,600 while the runners-up pocketed $15,200.

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