Chen Yu Fei Stonewalls Intanon – Hong Kong Open: Final

A gutsy performance by Chen Yu Fei frustrated Ratchanok Intanon as the Chinese picked up her sixth title of the season at the YONEX-SUNRISE Hong Kong Open 2019 today.

It was Chen’s second title in two weeks following her Fuzhou China Open triumph last Sunday.

Chen looked worn out in the second game and early in the third, but found her second wind, pushing the pace and taking the initiative against Intanon, and closing out the match 21-18 13-21 21-13.

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.

“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.”

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