Hong Kong: First of all, we would like to congratulate Lee Cheuk Yiu’s superb performance at the 2019 Hong Kong Open, by coming through the qualifying rounds and also beating several world’s top players such as Shi Yuqi in the second round, Viktor Axelsen in the quarter-finals and Kidambi Srikanth in the semi-final before winning the Hong Kong Open against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 16-21, 21-10, 22-20 in the final.
It didn’t appear to matter to the 23-year-old that this was his first major final; that he had in fact been promoted from the qualifying round; that he had played full-tilt – and taken down – classy opponents like Shi Yu Qi, Viktor Axelsen and Kidambi Srikanth on his way to the final.
This article has no intend to undermine Lee’s effort of winning the title, but would like to show how the match umpire Joerg Hupertz of Germany made the questionable call during the championship point and hope BWF would allow some sort of instant replay review in the future to avoid similar incident from happening again.
When Lee was leading at 21-20 in the decider, the Hong Kong player lifted the shuttlecock a little high near the net and Ginting killed it, but it was called “fault” by the umpire, which ended up giving Lee the championship point in the final of the Super 500 tournament on Sunday.
Anthony Sinisuka Ginting was extremely disappointed with the call, but obviously there’s nothing he could do to change the outcome of the match.
The Indonesian was inconsolable. Lee Cheuk Yiu exploded in celebration. The crowd went wild.
“To win my first Super 500 title is such a great feeling, and that too in front of my home crowd,” said Lee. “I was so lucky. I was in the qualifying round and got into the main draw after someone withdrew. And now I got the title. I’m so fortunate. I want to thank my fans who came to watch me. They cheered me on for every point.”
“That I withstood all the pressure means a lot. I’m very excited to win my first major title.”
Ginting said he wasn’t caught off-guard by his opponent, who until now, hadn’t even played a top-tier final.
“I wasn’t surprised. I prepared well for this match, because I knew he would be confident as he was playing at home. I knew it would be tough. He has his own style. He was very confident, some of his shots were very weird, not usual.”