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Local badminton duo shines in S'pore Open

TAIPEI--Lee Sheng-mu and Tsai Chia-hsin from Taiwan fell to Chinese rivals in the men's doubles final of the 2014 OUE Singapore Open on Sunday after an impressive run in the US$300,000 event.

Seeded sixth in the 32-team draw, Lee and Tsai lost to the unseeded Chinese team of Cai Yun and Lu Kai in straight sets, 21-19, 21-14, in 42 minutes.

The match was tighter than the score would indicate. The first set was tied at 19-19 before the Taiwanese pair lost the final two points, and they took an 8-3 lead in the second set, only to see the Chinese team rally past them.

Lee and Tsai were the only Taiwanese players to finish in the top three of any of the events at the tournament, touted as Singapore's most prestigious badminton tournament.

The Taiwanese duo reached the final after defeating the fourth-seeded Malaysian team of Tan Wee Kiong and Hoon Thien How 21-16, 21-14 in the quarterfinals and the unseeded South Korean team of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Choel 22-20, 18-21, 21-14 in the semifinals.

The tournament saw a major upset when unseeded Indonesian Simon Santoso, who had to qualify for the main draw and is ranked only 52nd in the world, shocked top-seeded Lee Chong-wei of Malaysia 21-15, 21-10 in the men's singles final.

Lee, who was playing in the event for the first time in four years, praised Santoso as being the more confident player on the day.

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