Sony Dwi Kuncoro makes a comeback with Open title
Sony Dwi Kuncoro. JP/Arief SuhardimanIndonesian shuttler Sony Dwi Kuncoro triumphed at the Thailand Grand Prix Gold Badminton Open by defeating Chinese Chen Yuekun 21-17 and 21-14 in the final match on Sunday, marking his comeback after recovering from a series of injuries.
Sony, who was not chosen to represent Indonesia at the all-male Thomas Cup team event, is the only Indonesian player to capture a title in the US$120,000 event.
Earlier, Sony, ranked 65th in the world, defeated world No. 2 Lin Dan in the semifinal with 21-17 and 21-16. It was his first victory against the Chinese superstar since the Malaysia Open in 2003.
The victory of the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist against Lin Dan was underrated by several commentators, who deemed that the Chinese surrendered to the Indonesian deliberately to give his younger compatriot an easier opponent in the final.
However, Sony, who defeated Chen Yuekun in the Macau Open two years ago, outshined his challenger to capture his first major title since the Singapore Open in 2010.
Formerly among the top 10 players, Sony suffered back and wrist injuries that affected his performance in the high-level competition in recent months.
Meanwhile, India’s Saina Nehwal won the women’s singles title by overpowering host player Ratchanok Inthanon after losing the first set at 19-21, 21-15 and 21-10 in a match lasting more than one hour.
Chinese pair Liu Xialong and Qiu Jihan won the men’s doubles champion title by crushing Malaysians Mohd Zakkry Abdul Latif and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazali at 21-18, 21-19.
Their compatriots, Tao Jiaming and Tang Jinhua, defeated Thais Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam 21-14, 21-16 to win the mixed doubles title.
Thoungthongkam, teamed with Lam Narissapat, ensured that the host squad would not go home empty-handed by defeating fifth seeded Cheng Shu and Pan Pan from China at 21-15, 10-21 and 21-13, Antara news agency reported. (asa)