ODENSE, Denmark, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia held off a stiff challenge from China's Du Pengyu to win the men's singles title 15-21, 21-12, 21-19, at the Denmark Open 2012 badminton tournament here in central Denmark on Sunday.
The first set was a close-fought affair, with both players making long rallies, playing from the baseline, and mixing powerful smashes with delicate taps close to the net, but seventh seed Du came out better, winning 21-15.
Lee picked up the tempo in the second set, racing ahead to make the score 8-2 in a matter of minutes. He continued the frenetic pace, with sharply-angled drop shots and hits deep to the back of court, to win the second set 21-12.
Du recovered in the third set, holding his nerve to go ahead 11- 8 at the break, but Lee returned fast, leveling the scores 12-12. Both players then showed cool and skill over the next few duels, taking the score to 19-19. But Du misread a shot from Lee to lose a key point and render his opponent the match point, then went on to lose the set and the match.
For Lee, the victory proved to be a perfect birthday present as he turned 30 on Sunday, and scooped-up 30,000 U.S. dollars in tournament prize money, and a trophy.
Earlier Sunday, the women's singles final saw Indian third seed Saina Nehwal overpower her sixth-seeded German rival Juliane Schenk 21-17, 21-8, in just 35 minutes.
Nehwal was quickest from the start, leading 8-2 in the first set, and took the first set on her first set point. Schenk found better rhythm in the second set, leveling at 5-5, before Nehwal scored four points in a row, using her better speed and focus to wear down the tiring Schenk, and grabbed the set and match.
Meanwhile, the men's doubles title went to unseeded South Korean pair Baek Choel Shin and Yeon Seong Yoo, who beat third seed Kien Keat Koo and Boon Heong Tan of Malaysia 19-21, 21-11, 21- 19.
Koo and Tan led at 14-12 and at 18-16 before winning the first set, capitalizing on the fact that Choel and Seong were paired relatively recently. However, the South Koreans focused in the second set and worked much better as a team, winning the set after being in front 11-6 at the break. Koo and Tan pulled back in the third set to level the scores 19-19, but Choel and Seong proved stronger, becoming the second South Korean pair to win the men's doubles title at the tournament in the past two years.
While most of the Chinese top seeds saw shock exits from the Denmark Open in the semifinal round, the mixed doubles pair of Xu Chen and Ma Jin, seeded first, proved their worth by winning the final versus Indonesia's Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyna Natsir, 23-21, 24-26, 21-11, in a 72-minute thriller.
The Chinese mixed doubles victory ends four consecutive years in which Danish players have won the event, including last year, when Ma and Xu won silver.
Ma went on to taste success twice when she and partner Tang Jinhua defeated sixth-seeded Japanese pair Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi 21-8, 21-12, in the women's doubles final.
The unseeded Chinese pair played fluently, winning in 44 minutes, even though the Japanese duo engaged in long rallies to tire out Ma, who had already played a final match.