The argument of the best player in the world was a fascinating sub-plot this week as the two best players in the world renewed their rivalry in Seoul for the first Super Series Premier title and the biggest prize fund in badminton history. Olympic champion Lin Dan took on the Commonwealth champion and world #1 Lee Chong Wei for a chance to gain the upper hand in their rivalry going into the 2011 season.
The final between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei was a 74-minute classic, with both players claiming an equal share of the points tally with 56 points apiece. The match was finely posed at 16-15 to Lee Chong Wei in the deciding game before Lin Dan strung together his longest run of points in the entire match to claim victory 21-16 in the third and deciding end to win the men’s singles title. Perhaps giving him the edge in the argument over who is the best player in the world but Lee Chong will want his revenge as soon as possible as the debate continues on.
There was double success in the singles as Wang Yihan defeated Wang Shixian as the top two women’s players meet in the final, with the current world #2 taking the title in a two-game, 51 minute match winning 21-14, 21-18. The locals also had plenty to cheer about as the 6th seeded Lee and Jung retained their title in the men’s doubles with a stunning one-sided match up over the top seeded Boe and Mogensen. The Korean pair only trailed in the early part of the second set before completing their stunning win in just 33 minutes, winning 21-6, 21-13.
Wang and Yu put their finals defeat in Malaysia behind them as they took the women’s doubles title in another all-Chinese match up, defeating Tian and Zhao in a three-game match lasting 67 minutes but the third and final game was far from a competitive one, with Wang and Xu taking the decider 21-4 to win their first SuperSeries title of 2011. Tian would suffer a double disappointment as her and partner Jiaming Tao lost out in the mixed doubles final to her women’s doubles partner Zhao Yunlei and her partner Zhang Nan in a closely fought three game match, taking 70 minutes with Zhang and Zhao taking the deciding game 21-19 to claim their first title of 2011.