Badminton Life

Wang Lin Triumphs in French Open

China's Wang Lin won her first tournament in more than two and a half years when she lifted the women's singles title at the French Open in Paris over the weekend.

The unseeded Wang defeated her more illustrious compatriot and second-seeded Xie Xingfang 21-18, 13-21, 21-11 in the final for her first title since she won the China Masters in March, 2006.

It was a major shock as Wang defeated the top-two seeds to take the crown. In the semi-finals she overcome world number one Lu Lan 23-21, 21-16.

Wang's revival has been a long time coming. Since she won the China Masters, she failed to recapture that form for a long time. She was unable to reach a quarter-final until the Macau Open Grand Prix event in October last year.

She followed up by reaching the Vietnam Open semi-finals and then, earlier this year, finished runner-up in the Asian Championship in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

For Xie, it was another disappointment following her silver medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.

Having lost to Zhang Ning in the Beijing final, she then gave up her world number one ranking to Lu.

Xie had a tough road to the final, starting off with a 18-21, 21-13, 21-12 victory over Hong Kong's Wang Chen.

She then had a walkover against Canada's Anna Rice before surviving two tough potential hurdles.

First was a quarter-final against France's Pi Hongyan. Despite facing a partisan crowd, Xie was able to triumph 21-15, 21-7.

She then needed three games to beat Denmark's fourth seed Tine Rasmussen 21-8, 16-21, 21-16 in the semi-finals.

Indonesia's Olympic bronze medallist Maria Kristin Yulianti had a strong run into the quarter-finals before she was beaten in three games by Lu, 16-21, 21-10, 21-19.

Yulianti, who has suffered tough draws in past tournaments, managed to beat two players before falling.

She first defeated China's fifth seed Zhu Lin in straight games before overcoming Danish qualifier Nanna Brosolat Jensen.

The French Open is one of 12 tournaments in world governing body Badminton World Federation's Super Series, which counts towards qualification for the Masters Final in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia in December.

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