Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon claimed the world no. 1 spot after emerging champion in the OUE Singapore Open on Sunday.
The newly crowned world no. 1 beat defending champion Sun Yu 18-21, 21-11, 21-14 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium to become the first women's singles player to win three Superseries titles in as many weeks.
Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon celebrates winning the women's singles final of the OUE Singapore Open at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Photo: Sport Singapore
Ratchanok recently won the Yonex Sunrise India Open 2016 and the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open 2016 while on her way to Singapore.
After losing the first game, Ratchanok took full advantage of her Chinese rival's unforced errors in the next two games.
Leading 20-12 in the final game, Ratchanok celebrated when Sun’s smash seemingly went out of bounds. The celebration unfortunately proved premature as Sun’s challenge was successful.
The 2013 world champion was not going to be denied, however, as she won the match point another three points later.
"Today I just try to relax. My target was to be world no. 1. I'm looking forward to the Olympics. I want to win gold for Thailand,” the 21-year-old said after the match.
Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon in action during the women's singles final. Photo: Sport Singapore
"Today I made many mistakes, my opponent too, but I managed to get back into the game earlier than her."
"I thought that today would not be my day and she was playing well. My body was tired from the past few weeks but I just wanted to do my best."
In the men’s singles, the top seeds did not fare as well as tournament favourites Lin Dan and Chen Long crashed out to lesser rivals.
China’s Lin Dan suffered a shock loss to the unfancied Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia in the semi-finals, who eventually went on to win the men’s singles final.
Kuncoro, currently ranked world no. 56, finally overcame South Korea’s Son Wan Ho 21-16, 13-21, 21-14 to clinch the men’s singles title on Sunday.
Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro celebrates winning the men's singles final. Photo: Sport Singapore
The 31-year-old, who had last won a Superseries title six years ago also in Singapore, said this win had meant a lot to him as he struggled with injury in recent years.
“It's really been a while since I've won a Superseries title. It's such a big achievement to be able to pass through the qualifiers and win this,” he said.
“It's really unexpected, it's a long journey but it's such a meaningful journey.”