Men’s singles – A first for either
World #165 Lu Guangzu and world #182 Zhou Zeqi were up both vying for their first international title and not a minor one at that.
Back in 2013 at Darling Harbour, two hitherto relatively unknown Chinese players, Tian Houwei and Xue Song, similarly heralded their breakthroughs by reaching the final after beating legends of the sport Lee Chong Wei and Taufik Hidayat respectively enroute.
Unlike Japan’s Ayumi Mine, 21 year old Lu Guangzu kept uniformly dangerous form in tact for the entire week to become the latest Australian champion, 21-8, 23-21. Lu’s trademark is his incredibly compact shots and remarkable production of power. His physique is similar to Tian Houwei’s with the ability to force winners at will that is spookily reminiscent of Xue Song.
“I have to say I’m proud of myself for not giving up…The second game certainly was tough because my opponent played better. I’d like winning this title to launch me towards greater improvement”, said a thoroughly sweaty Lu Guangzu.
The last five points of the match entertained the crowd with both players saving shots where you thought the rally should have ended already.