As the Asian swing continued and the shuttlers packed their bags to Malaysia, it was time for the second Super Series Premier tournament of the year. The tournament was held at Stadium Perpaduan from April 4th to 9th in Kuching. The eleventh edition after being initiated as a BWF Superseries event, the total prize money was $600,000.
With the second seed, Jan O Jorgensen withdrawing from the tournament, the chances of Lee Chong Wei defend defending his title increased. As the tournament proceeded, the first shock was the defeat of sixth seed, Tian Houwei at the hands of French qualifier, Brice Leverdez. Whereas, in the second round we witnessed the upset of the Indian Open champion champion, Viktor Axelsen, who lost to Ajay Jayaram. It was quite a disappointment for the crowd as Chen Long gave a walkover in his quarterfinals. Although, the Malaysian was the star in the draw, people were following the advances of a double Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan, who was fighting his way through the draw. The last four saw the crowd favourite take on Hong Kong’s Wing Ki Wong while Lin Dan was against Son Wan-ho. With both former world number ones winning their respective last four clash, the world prepared itself for another blockbuster final.
As the arch rivals met at the finals for the first time since the 2013 World Championships, the players put their best on courts to get the better off other. Eventually, the Chinese prevailed to win his first ever Malaysian Super Series Premier title.
As the ladies readied themselves for the second premier tournament of the year, the probables for the title were Tai Tzu Ying and Carolina Marin, the number one and two seeds respectively and the in-form sixth seed, Pusarla Venkata Sindhu who recently captured the Indian Open title. Although the top two seeds made it to the final, it was a shock first round exit for the Indian against China’s Chen Yufei. Other name which made it big in the tournament was the bronze medalist from Rio, Nozomi Okuhara who although was unseeded reached the semifinals defeating countrywoman and fourth seed, Akane Yamaguchi enroute. The title clash, was a rollercoaster ride as both the ladies, put their best efforts but it was the Chinese Taipei’s player who had the last laugh as she won her third Superseries title of the year with a 23-25, 22-20, 21-13 victory.
With the top seeds and the home favourites, Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong crashing out in the first round, the top draw was wide open. It was the unseeded Chinese pairing of Fu Haifeng and Zheng Siwei who took advantage to reach their maiden BWF Superseries men’s doubles final as a pair. In the bottom half of the draw, it was the fourth seeded Indonesians who defeated the fifth and the second seeds in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively to reach the title round. It was the Indonesians who won the third set 21-12 as well as the match.
As three of the eight seeds lost in the second round, including the world number three pairing of Jung Kyung-eun and Shin seung-chan, it were the lower ranked pairs who enjoyed a great run at the tournament. With eventually all the seeded teams toppling out before the finals, it was the Japanese pairing of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota versus the Chinese players, Huang Yaqiong and tang Jinhua who featured in the summit clash. Although, the Chinese leveled the match by winning the second set, it was the Japanese pair who proved too good as they won the match with a 21-17, 18-21, 21-12 triumph.
As it has been happening, the mixed doubles discipline was once again dominated by the Chinese. With three out of the four pairs in the semifinals from China, it wasn’t a week to remember for the Adcock duo from England who had to face a second round defeat. With the first, third and fifth seeded Chinese pairing, all cruising through their quarterfinals, the second seeds, Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmed from Indonesia booked the last spot in the quarter-final clash. Both the semifinals, were one sided as Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen and Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong won their respective semifinals in straight sets. In the championship match, the latter weren’t able to put much of a fight as the top seeds won 21-15, 21-18.