New York: Lee Chong Wei savoured victory for the first time in over a year, wresting the US Open men’s singles crown in an entertaining duel against Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in the $50,000 badminton tournament here.
In a rare treat for American fans, a packed school gym was captivated as the former World No.1 withstood a spirited challenge from his Danish rival to win the Grand Prix Gold event 22-20, 21-12.
The Malaysian showcased his endless arsenal of shots as he mixed attack, guile and defence to telling effect.
The maestro plotted his way back into badminton’s upper echelons after an eight-month sanction for an anti-doping regulation violation.
Fittingly, the Malaysian clinched the honours with his trademark jump-smash and wrapped himself in his national flag to receive his reward from Malaysia’s Consul General to New York, Abdul Razak Abdul Wahab.
Meanwhile, women’s singles top seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan defeated compatriot Sayaka Sato 21-16, 21-14 in the final. All four semi-finalists were Japanese.
China took home all the doubles titles.
Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen, the 2013 World Junior Champions, ousted India’s Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy 21-12, 21-16, in the men’s doubles final.
The Chinese youngsters rebounded smartly from slow starts in both games to win comfortably though it took six match points for them to get across the line.