It was Chen’s second title in two weeks following her Fuzhou China Open triumph last Sunday.
Hong Kong: China’s World No. 3 Chen Yufei survived a three-set tussle to beat Thailand’s former World Champion Ratchanok Intanon 21-18, 13-21, 21-13 to win the 2019 Hong Kong Open women’s singles title on Sunday.
The BWF World Tour Super 500 event was Chen’s 6th title of the year, and also her second consecutive title in two weeks, after winning the Fuzhou China Open last Sunday.
After her semifinal win yesterday, the Thai had predicted that Chen was likely to feel the physical effects of her extended run in China and Hong Kong. Through the opening game, Chen had to work hard, running to all corners to keep going in the face of Intanon’s wizardry.
The Chinese slowed down noticeably as the match progressed, and perhaps Intanon would have anticipated a weakening of her opponent’s resolve.
That was not to be, for Chen, after trailing by a bit early in the third, stepped up her game. Intanon had the variety and the sharper strokes, but Chen had the legs to last the distance, and it was the Thai who was left flagging from the effort.
“It was a very difficult match, Intanon was quicker in the second set,” said Chen.
“I’m very happy because I faced a lot of difficulties during the match but I could overcome them and that is progress,” said the champion.
“I tried not to think of my record against her. I just had to be prepared for a difficult match. I’m happy that I’ve been very stable this year, which is an improvement over my past seasons. I do have some regrets, such as my performance at the World Championships, but there will be opportunities in future.”
Intanon said Chen had outplayed her mentally.
“I thought she was down and getting slow, but she kept going and I didn’t prepare well during my serve and she pushed me,” said Intanon. “I was thinking a lot and not point by point. I made too many mistakes on her high lifts. At times I didn’t feel comfortable, she had me in two minds about the shots I had to play.
“She maintained her energy and also I could not control my shots well in the third game. She kept up a high speed.”