Akane Yamaguchi and Viktor Axelsen won the Malaysia Open Super 1000 women’s and men’s singles titles in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
Yamaguchi, the reigning world champion, registered a come-from-behind win over world no. 4 An Se Young to clinch the Super Series Premier title, her first in seven years.
The world no. 1 Japanese, who won the season-ending World Tour Finals in December, prevailed over Young in a three-game thriller that lasted for an hour and nine minutes.
Yamaguchi won her maiden Super Series Premier title at the China Open in 2017.
On Sunday, Yamaguchi, after dropping the first game 12-21, bounced back to win the tightly fought second game 21-19 before sealing the contest 21-11 in the third.
The men’s singles final saw a repeat of last month’s World Tour Finals. Axelsen, the regaining Olympic and world champion, won the Malaysia Open title in straight games, beating Japanese youngster Kodai Naraoka in 40 minutes.
The world no. 1 Dane, showing his brilliant attacking spree and defence, took the first game 21-6. In the second, Naraoka fought back briefly before going down 15-21.
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This was Axelsen’s ninth Super Series Premier title and third Malaysia Open crown.
Chinese pairings dominate doubles
Meanwhile, Chinese domination in doubles continued.
Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan, the world no. 1 pairing in women’s doubles, blew away South Korea’s Baek Hana-Lee Yulim 21-16, 21-10 in 52 minutes.
In mixed doubles, the world no. 1 pairing of Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong, carrying on their last season’s dominating display, claimed the season’s first Super Series Premier title.
Zheng-Huang beat Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino of Japan 21-19, 21-11 in 44 minutes. Last season, the Chinese pairing won an overwhelming nine Super Series titles on the World Tour.