China's Chen Yufei wins All England Open women's singles title
CGTN

Third seed Chen Yufei dashed Tai Tzu Ying's hope of winning a hat-trick of women's singles title as she beat the two-time defending champion in straight sets at the All England Open badminton championships on Sunday.

Chen, who had lost all their 11 previous meetings, pulled ahead 16-9 in the first set but Tai managed to narrow the gap to 17-19. Chen settled the first set with two more points with 21-17.

The second set was a see-saw play although Chen enjoyed the upper hand most of the time. Tai fought back from 16-12 down to level the score at 17-17 before Chen took advantage of Tai's mistakes to seal the victory 21-17.

As she won the final point, Chen fell to the court at Arena Birmingham to celebrate the victory.

Chen is the first player from team China to win the women's singles final since Wang Shixian lifted the trophy in 2014.

Tai had been looking for a historic hat-trick of titles and Chen admitted she didn't expect to come off the court as a winner against such an illustrious opponent.

"I was over-excited. I didn't expect to win the Championship title in straight games," Chen smiled.

"When I express my joy I feel like I lose my physical composure, that's why I fell to the ground.

"I think I am more mature both mentally and physically compared to last year.

"I kept my pace on the court today. I think that's probably the reason why I won."

Kento Momota made history

In men's singles, Kento Momota became the first Japanese man to win the All England Open.

 Japan‘s Kento Momota celebrates with a trophy after winning the men's final. /VCG Photo

 Japan‘s Kento Momota celebrates with a trophy after winning the men's final. /VCG Photo

Momota is the reigning world champion, Asian champion and world number one. He can now add success in badminton's oldest tournament to his glittering CV.

The 24-year-old held his nerve to win 21-11, 15,21, 21-15 against Denmark's Viktor Axelsen.

"Winning this tournament has been a dream from my childhood and having won this it is a really big moment in my life and gives me a lot of confidence," Momota said.

"The second game I played defensively against some very powerful shots from Viktor but in the final game, I knew I couldn't carry on like that.

"So I didn't play particular tactics I just gave all I had and did my best."

Momota hopes his success can inspire more Japanese players to excel at the sport.

"I hope this win will help raise the badminton level in Japan. I'm going to keep improving myself so that everybody can be helped along with me," he added.

(With input from Xinhua and AFP)