Lee Yong Dae and Kim Gi Jung are finally back on top (Photo: Badminton Photo)

An outpouring of emotion on finals day

1/12/2020 9:44 AM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Alan Raftery
After a week of exciting competition in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysia Masters came to its climax on finals day. 

The surprise winners came in the men’s doubles, with an unseeded pair taking the title. It was a blast from the past seeing Koreans Lee Yong Dae and Kim Gi Jung performing like this and going all the way to the final, beating the fourth and fifth seeds to get there. 

Lee and Kim had previously won two titles together, both coming in 2018. So, this third title was a big release for the experienced duo. Malaysia has been an excellent playing location for them too, as they came into this tournament knowing that they had reached seven finals in this country between them. 

They were due to play third seeds and current world championship bronze medallists, Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen. While in the quarterfinals and semifinals, Lee and Kim had to grind out tough three-game matches, everything came together in the final, and the Koreans took the title in a very disciplined 21-14, 21-16 victory. There was an outpouring of emotion after the final points, showing how much this meant to them. 

Axelsen comes up short again
In a repeat of the All-England final, the 2018 Malaysia Masters winner, Viktor Axelsen, had another shot at the world number one, Kento Momota, a man he has been unable to beat since 2014. Axelsen’s management of his matches against Momota have been better when winning the opening game. It was clear that this was a significant focus for the Dane. However, he failed to convert three game points, losing the first game 24-22. 

After this disappointment, the second game ran away from Axelsen very quickly, with Momota at one point being 17-3 to the good. The game ended 21-11, gifting Momota another trophy for the cabinet. 

First title
Women’s doubles pair Li Wenmei and Zheng Yu, world number 10, picked up their first-ever title against their Chinese teammates, seventh seeds Du Yue and Li Yinhui, winning 21-19, 16-21, 21-19.

In another All-China final, first seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Ya Qiong defeated Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping, 21-19, 21-12, in their fourteenth encounter. 

In the women’s singles final, it was the second seed who overturned the first seed, when Chen Yufei of China was able to dispatch Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, 21-17, 21-10 — repeating her moment of victory at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2019 in Guangzhou, China. 

For the full results, click here

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