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Badminton: Wang upsets top seed in men's singles final

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

All week the top seed had looked unbeatable and then on the day when it mattered most, Hsu Jen Hao (Chinese Taipei) revealed he was as he lost the final at the SKYCITY NZ Badminton Open in straight games to countryman, club team mate, friend and number 6 seed Tzu Wei Wang, Wang winning 21-9, 21-13.

19 year old Wang simply had all the answers where previously Hao had no equal, taking the net away from his smaller opponent and smashing effectively to win the big points and capitalize in the big moments in a 34 minute match short on long rallies.

After a tight opening to the match with world number 59 Wang leading 5-4, the number 6 seed simply strung together consistent runs of points, extending away to take the opening game and put the favourite on the back foot, he never recovered.

The second game was much more even with Hao and Wang going toe to toe. With the score at 15-13 in favour of Wang, the underdog rattled off 6 consecutive points to win the title.

After strong results already this year in Vietnam and Osaka, Wang was delighted with his first Grand Prix title.

"I am very very happy, this is my first time as a champion so I am very excited.

"I have been putting in a lot of hard work, not one thing in my play stood out today, this was really about everything coming together for me.

"While it could have been hard playing someone I know so well, I did not think about that too much so nothing influenced me, I just concentrated on putting on my best performance. I tried not to think too much about the Championship, just go out and do my best. I had a peaceful mind.

"Thank you New Zealand, this is a great week for me."

27th world ranked Hao did speak of the closeness of the two players who live in the same region and play on the same club team.

"I found the final hard though because we play each other so often we know each other’s moves, we play in the same team as well so we are familiar with how each of us plays. We both live and play in the same city Taiwan.

"Tzu Wei Wang was very fast, he put up a good show, full of speed and full of good moves. He was excellent.

"I have played three good matches to reach the final and I have played in many finals but this was just not my day."

SKYCITY NZ Badminton Open

Men’s Singles Final

6 Tzu Wei Wang (TPE) def 1 Hsu Jen Hao (TPE) 21-9, 21-13

Umpire Daniel Law (NZL)

Duration 34 minutes

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