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Zheng and Chen fail to defend, Chinese team miss top podium at BWF French Open

Zheng Siwei (R)/Chen Qingchen of China pose during the awarding ceremony after the mixed doubles final match against Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia at 2017 Yonex French Open in Paris, France on Oct. 29, 2017. Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen were defeated with 0-2. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

PARIS, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shuttlers finished the BWF World Superseries French Open with their worst ever performance after world No. 1 Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen lost the mixed doubles final to Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia on Sunday.

China claimed only one title in 2015 with Huang Yaqiong and Tang Jinhua's victory in the women's doubles, their previous worst results in the tournament since it was promoted to one of the BWF Superseries event in 2007.

Zheng and Chen traded leads with their Indonesian opponents in both games, but were unable to prevail.

The top seeds led 9-4 early in the match before the Indonesian pair chipped away the deficit with five points in a row. With the game tied at 20-all, the Chinese duo were penalized a point for a violation to concede the game.

"We made good preparation before the match. We did pretty well in executing the tactics, but we failed to maintain our momentum midway through the match, and were restrained by our opponents," said Zheng.

Zheng and Chen got into their opponents' heads early in the second game, but the Olympic champion pair managed to go up after winning six points in a row.

"If we had won the first game, it would have been a different scenario in the second," said Zheng.

Apart from Ahmad and Natsir's triumph, Indonesia also claimed the women's title as Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu beat Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan of South Korea 21-17, 21-15 in the final.

In the men's singles, Indian shuttler Srikanth Kidambi built on his recent momentum to defeat Nishimoto Kenta of Japan 21-14, 21-13, nailing his second straight Superseries title in two weeks after his success at the Denmark Open.

Women's singles top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei held off challenges from Japan's Yamaguchi Akane to win 21-4, 21-16 following a comfortable 31-minute battle.

Danish veterans Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen also failed to defend the men's doubles title as they were shocked by Lee Jhe-Huei and Lee Yang of Chinese Taipei 21-19, 23-21.

The French Open is the 10th leg of 12 BWF World Superseries of the season with a total prize pot of 325,000 U.S. dollars up for grabs.

The next two stops will be November's China Open and the Hong Kong Open, and the World Superseries Finals will be held from December 13 to 17 in Dubai.


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