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Yonex Open Chinese Taipei 2014 – Review: Sensational Triumph for Polii/Maheswari

Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari capped a memorable week at the Yonex Open Chinese Taipei today with an upset of World champions Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli.

The Indonesian Women’s Doubles pair (BWF home page) thus won their first tournament in over a year with their second straight victory over the formidable pair from China.

Meanwhile, in Men’s Singles, Lin Dan’s near-perfect comeback saga continued with the Chinese superstar winning his fourth title in three months. Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun captured the Women’s Singles title. China’s Liu Yuchen/Yu Xiaohan and Indonesia’s Andrei Adistia/Hendra Aprida Gunawan won the Mixed Doubles and Men’s Doubles titles respectively.

Women’s Doubles great Yu Yang nearly made a triumphant comeback after over three months of missing the circuit. Yu Yang – last seen winning the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2014 with Tang Yuanting – revived her successful partnership with Wang Xiaoli to make the final but the pair was stumped by Polii and Maheswari 21-18 21-11.

The Indonesians had suffered straight-games losses in their first two encounters against Yu/Wang, but turned the tide with a thrilling victory at the Yonex French Open last year. Polii and Maheswari were able to sustain the momentum and galloped to victory in the second game after a tightly fought opening game.

The Indonesians, seeded four, earlier outplayed the likes of Korea’s Ko A Ra/Yoo Hae Won (quarter-finals) and Tang Yuanting/Huang Yaqiong (semi-finals) before achieving one of the biggest results of their career with the upset of the World champions.

Today's victory was World and Olympic champion Lin's (above; right) fourth title in five individual tournaments – the exception was Yonex Open Japan, where he fell in the Men’s Singles quarter-finals – since making his comeback after eight months of self-imposed exile. Lin had little trouble in countering the challenge of second seed Wang Zhengming, 21-19 21-14, for his fifth win in as many matches against his younger compatriot.

Wang matched the champion for most of the first game but Lin pulled away from 17-all and then decimated his opponent in the second. This was Lin’s second Grand Prix Gold victory since winning the China Masters GPG on his return to the circuit in mid-April earlier this year.

Victory in the final capped a mostly smooth week for the seventh seed, with his most difficult challenge coming in the semi-finals against Japan’s Riichi Takeshita. Despite Lin enjoying significant leads in the third game, Takeshita never gave up and got to within a point of his opponent before Lin sealed the contest: 21-15 14-21 21-18.

Of the other title contenders, Indonesia’s fifth seed Simon Santoso lost a thriller in the third round to Hong Kong’s Wei Nan. Santoso had three match points but Wei upstaged him to take the contest in 71 minutes before another three-game upset of fourth seed Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam in the quarter-finals. Wei’s run finally came to a halt against Wang Zhengming in the semi-finals.

Top seed in Women’s Singles Sung Ji Hyun (above) breezed to the title without dropping a game. Sung took the title beating China’s Liu Xin 21-13 21-18. The biggest surprise in the early rounds was the exit of third seed and home hope Tai Tzu Ying to Indonesia’s Adrianti Firdasari (21-13 21-14) in the second round. Tai’s compatriot Hsu Ya Ching gave local fans plenty to cheer by reaching the semi-finals with a thrilling 23-21 22-20 result over fourth seed Han Li (China). Hsu however could not get past Sung in the semi-finals.

Indonesia had a successful campaign in Men’s Doubles as well, with Andrei Adistia/Hendra Aprida Gunawan (above) winning their first significant title as a combination. The Indonesians overcame China’s Junhui Li/Liu Yuchen 21-14 16-21 21-16 to capture Indonesia’s second title of the day. Adistia and Gunawan were taken the distance in their earlier rounds, while Li/Liu encountered no trouble before the final.

Earlier, in Mixed Doubles, China’s Liu Yuchen and Yu Xiaohan made quick work of Indonesia’s Alfian Eko Prasetya/Annisa Saufika, 21-12 21-14. Liu/Yu were nearly shown the door in the semi-finals by Indonesia’s Markis Kido/Pia Bernadeth Zebadiah, but the Chinese clung on and fought back into the contest by overcoming two match points: 21-17 19-21 22-20.

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