In between tears and look of complete and utter shock 27-year-old Chia-Chi Huang who is Taiwanese but in the process of becoming an Australian won the US$50,000 Equinox New Zealand Badminton Open in Auckland with one of her trade-mark three game matches.
It was a completely unexpected win for Huang who came into the tournament unseeded but in good form from a win in Victoria the previous week.
Along the way to the final she defeated the second seed in the third round, the third seed and former Commonwealth gold medalist, Li Li in the semis and in the final the fourth seed Aiying Xing of Singapore 21-18 22-24 21-15.
I didn't expect it, I'm so pleased, it is my first two-star championship win, now I am going to have a week off!" said Huang who will definitely deserve a rest after her efforts, she is definitely the marathon woman of the tournament with her semi final lasting for one hour and 18 minutes then she survived for one hour and 12 minutes in the final against Xing.
Huang had the opportunity to take the match in the second game but Xing saved match point three times. But the Australian came back too strong in the third upsetting Xing's rhythm, who ended up making many unforced errors allowing Huang to seize the victory and the title.
The men's singles final between former world No 6 Ronald Susilo (Singapore) and unseeded Malaysian Tsuen Seng Lee was full of excitement with plenty of crowd interaction and plenty of gamesmanship and delaying tactics from Lee as he slowed the game down dramatically during breaks, even when he was warned by the referee several times.
Lee literally smashed his way to victory, outplaying Susilo with his high speed smashes which the Singaporean who is recovering from an achilles injury sustained last year could not match.
The mixed doubles clash was an all Singaporean contest with Hendri Kurniawan Saputra and Yujia Li beating Hendra Wijaya and Fan Frances Liu in straight games thanks to some superior team work.
The women's doubles was a highlight of the tournament with the Singapore team of Yanmei Jian and Yujia Li eventually triumphant in three games over the Malaysian pair of Pek Siah Lim and Swee Ling Joanne Quay.
Indonesian second seeds Eng Hian and Rian Sukmawan won the men's doubles in straight games over the third seeds from Singapore, Saputra and Wijaya with the latter pulling out injured at 13-21 9-11.
The best of the New Zealand contingent at the event was the husband-wife combination of Geoff and Rebecca Bellingham who reached the semis of the mixed while Daniel Shirley and Craig Cooper made the semis of the men's doubles.
(1)Hendri Kurniawan Saputra/Yujia Li(SIN) bt (4)Hendra Wijaya/Fan Frances Liu 21-11 21-12
Chia-Chi Huang(AUS) bt (4)Aiying Xing(SIN) 21-18 22-24 21-15
Tsuen Seng Lee(MAS) bt Ronald Susilo(SIN) 21-11 21-12
(2)Yanmei Jiang/Yujia Li(SIN) bt (3)Pek Siah Lim/Swee Ling Joanne Quay(MAS) 21-11 19-21 21-15
(2)Eng Hian/Rian Sukmawan(INA) bt (3)Hendri Kurniawan Saputra/Hendra Wijaya(SIN) 21-13 11-9
Last Modified on 22/09/2006 21:57