Badminton: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei beats Chen Long to regain All-England title

Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia returns against Chen Long of China in their All England Open Badminton Championships men's singles final match in Birmingham, central England, on March 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia returns against Chen Long of China in their All England Open Badminton Championships men's singles final match in Birmingham, central England, on March 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

BIRMINGHAM (AFP) - Lee Chong Wei produced one of his finest performances to regain the All-England Open title and to win it a third time, doing so with an impressively emphatic straight games win over Chen Long in Birmingham on Sunday.

The world No. 1 from Malaysia beat the titleholder from China 21-13, 21-18 - revenge for his loss to Chen in the final last year.

The variety of the 31-year-old's game was often mesmerising, and his focus was steely enough to resist determined second-game fight-backs by Chen.

"I didn't know how well I would be able to play, but I feel very happy with what I did," Lee said.

Chen, meanwhile, was gracious in defeat. "He played some amazing points," he said. "I can accept winning or losing today."

Earlier China won the women's singles when Wang Shixian, the fourth-seeded former All-England champion, beat Li Xuerui, the top-seeded Olympic champion, 21-19, 21-18.

In the women's doubles, China's Yu Yang and her Wang Xiaoli saved a match point to complete a successful defence of their All-England Open title.

Yu, who had said she was quitting after she and Wang were among those banned during the match-fixing scandal at the London Olympics, was again a bundle of renovated self-belief and forecourt energy as the top-seeded pair edged out their unseeded compatriots Ma Jin and Tang Yuanting 21-17, 18-21, 23-21.

Indonesia regained the men's doubles title after an interval of more than a decade when top-seeded Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan followed their August capture of the world title with a 21-19, 21-19 win over Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa.

China's top-seeded mixed doubles pair of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei was beaten 21-13, 21-17 by Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir, the titleholders from Indonesia.

It left China with just two titles, its smallest all-England haul for six years.