Chen Yufei sees off Wang Zhiyi in marathon tussle to win Chinese national title

World no. 2 triumphed 4-2 in 104 minutes, while earlier world no. 1 Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong took home the mixed doubles crown

By ZK Goh

Women's singles badminton world number two Chen Yufei was pushed hard by world number 16 Wang Zhiyi before she triumphed in the Chinese national championships final in Baoji, Shaanxi Province.

Playing under a first-to-11-points, first-to-four-games system more commonly seen these days in table tennis (compared to badminton's usual first-to-21, first-to-two), Chen was taken to six games, with the largest margin between the two players in any game just three points.

The world number two clinched victory 11-13, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-9 in one hour and 44 minutes.

Chen looked relieved to have won at the end, with Wang never giving her much breathing room throughout the match and drawing her into long rallies.

China's Chen Yufei in action during the 2019 All England Open women's singles final (Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers)

Clash of the mixed doubles titans

Earlier, mixed doubles world number one Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong, representing Zhejiang province, comfortably saw off Fujian's Ou Xuanyi and Huang Dongping.

Huang, who normally plays alongside Wang Yilü and is ranked world number two with Wang behind Zheng/Huang, was unable to play with her regular international partner as he is from Zhejiang province.

However, with three of the four players forming the world's two best pairings, a closer clash than what actually transpired may have been expected.

While Ou/Huang did clinch two games, they were both close; Zheng/Huang's game wins were all fairly comfortable.

The world number one team won 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7.

In the women's doubles final, Guangdong's Chen Xiaofei/Feng Xueying needed 57 minutes to beat Liaoning pair An Yu/Liu Shengshu.

Chen/Feng were pushed the distance in the first two games, winning the second on a single tie-break point, eventually holding on for a 14-12, 15-14, 4-11, 11-4, 11-3 win.

The men's doubles final was won by Beijing's Liu Yuchen/Feng Yanzhe. Liu is one half of the world number three pairing (alongside regular partner Li Junhui).

Liu/Feng beat Liu Cheng/Huang Kaixiang of Fujian 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 in 50 minutes.

Fujian's Weng Hongyang was the men's singles champion, beating Gu Junfeng of Liaoning 11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6 in an hour and 20 minutes.