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Rediff.com  » Sports » Hidayat, Hongyan clinch India Open badminton

Hidayat, Hongyan clinch India Open badminton

March 30, 2009 05:30 IST

Indonesian favourite Taufik Hidayat swept to his seventh career win over Malaysia's Muhammad Hashim in the India Open men's final in Hyderabad on Sunday.

The former World and 2004 Olympic champion grappled with the shuttle speed and the drift across the arena before winning 21-18, 21-19 against the 10th seed and ex-All-England champion.

"The problem was the shuttle was very fast," the world number seven said in a courtside interview. "Of course, I'm very happy to win my first title of the year."

Hashim, who had lost all six previous matches with Hidayat, rallied to lead 11-10 in the second game but struggled with control, repeatedly hitting long before netting a return at matchpoint.

Earlier, French world number four Pi Hongyan won her first title for three years, the top seed rallying to a 17-21, 21-15, 21-14 victory over Malaysia's Julia Wong in the women's final.

Hongyan won in just under an hour, finding her rhythm late in the decider to avenge a loss to the fifth seed at the Malaysian Open Super Series in January.

"I'm very happy with this win," Hongyan said. "My last was at Singapore three years ago. I've played in many finals, but this will be good for my confidence."

"I was not playing my best coming here, so I'm very happy."

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