New Delhi: Top Thai shuttler Ratchanok Intanon pocketed her second Yonex-Sunrise India Open Super Series title with a straight-game victory over Olympic champion Li Xuerui in the the women’s singles final at the Siri Fort Sports Complex on Sunday.
In a clash between two former champions, it was Ratchanok who emerged victorious with a 21-17 21-18 scoreline in a matching lasting 42 minutes. It was her fourth win over the former World No. 1 Chinese in 11 meetings. Li had won the India Open in 2012.
Japan’s Kento Momota also won his inaugural India Open title after seeing off Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen 21-15 21-18 and sprawled on the court after hitting a powerful smash which earned him the title. It was Momota's fourth Super Series title.
Ratchanok, who lost to Saina Nehwal in the final last year, said: “Li has good skills, she is a very attacking player. I had to prepare well for this match. Idea was not to make mistakes. The shuttle was very fast today, so I played it like a doubles match. My concentration was good. I was more focused. I kept telling myself that it is one more point and I should not commit errors.
"I will have to improve my game. I was okay today. You have to keep improving since all the players in top 8 can beat anybody. From now on, there are three more events left before Olympics qualification. I will just try to give my best, no
matter if I become a champion or not at the Rio Games," she said.
After taking his head-to-head record against Axelsen to 6-1, men's winner Momota said: "My experience in other super series finals helped me. I was able to execute my plans well today. This win will put me in the good frame of mind for the Olympics."
Momota won the BWF Super Series Masters Finals, Indonesia Open and Singapore Open last year.
Three years ago Ratchanok had burst into the international scene when she had reached the finals of the All England Champion and won her first super series title here defeating Germany’s Juliane Schenk. She made it a golden year, becoming the youngest singles player ever to win the World Champion.
It was Li whom she had beaten in that epic final. In the last three years, both of them have been part of many a battles but it was always the Chinese who had the upper hand.
Ratchanok’s tryst with injuries – shoulder and leg – also contributed to her three consecutive loses against Li in 2014.