Hidayat outplays Persson to land first Super Series title

Indonesia’s Taufik Hidyat had won 23 international titles in his career, including an Olympic gold (2004) and a world title (2005) but surprisingly, he had never won a Super Series event – until Sunday that is.

The former world No. 1, who was twice a losing finalist in the YONEX French Super Series, finally got it right when he defeated Denmark’s Joachim Persson 21-16, 21-11 at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium to end his drought.

The victory will also help Hidayat in his quest to reach the season ending VICTOR BWF Super Series Finals which will be held in Chinese Taipei on 5-9 January 2011. The tournament is the climax to the 12-leg Super Series circuit and only the top eight players and pairs are invited to compete in the US$500,000 tournament.

Hidayat, though ranked No. 4 in the world, was No. 9 in the Super Series ranking before France. His victory should see him break into the top eight with only two more Super Series tournaments – Li Ning China  Open Super Series 2010 (30 Nov -05 Dec) and Yonex-Sunrise  Hong Kong Super Series 2010 (07-12 Dec) – still to play.

Persson, who recorded his first ever victory over compatriot Peter Gade in the semi-finals, was not at his best as he hurt his back during that match and his movement was restricted in the final. He gave it his all but against a master predator like Hidayat, it was not enough.

The first game was quite close with the scores tied at 11, when Hidayat reeled off four straight points to open up some daylight. He was never in trouble from that stage as he wrapped it up 21-16.

Hidayat continued pressing Persson in the second game and opened up a 5-2 and 7-3 lead. Persson, sensing danger, dug deep and clawed back to 7-7. That was the signal for Hidayat to up the tempo once again and he reeled off 11 straight points to lead 18-7.

Persson was shell shocked and could only add four more points – mostly through Hidayat’s errors as he tried to close the game out – before succumbing 21-11 to end the 36-minute contest.

Hidayat celebrated winning his first Super Series title by kissing the Indonesian flag on his shirt and throwing his racquet to the crowd.

“I’m glad to finally win here,” said Hidayat, who suffered the heartbreak of losing the 2010 World Championship final at this very stadium.

“It feels great to add this title to my collection and also end my Super Series jinx,” added Hidayat, who lost last week’s Denmark Open final.

For full results log on to http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/matches.aspx?id=B1ACFCEE-A1A7-478F-ACEA-DDCE3A759085&d=20101103

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