Denmark’s Tine Rasmussen felt as though she was playing at home when she carved out a victory over world number one Zhou Ni in the Malaysian Open women’s singles final at the Putra Stadium Sunday January 12 2009.
The Dane won the match 21-17, 15-21, 21-16. It was her third consecutive win over the Super Series Masters Finals champion in eight meetings and she could replace the Hong Kong player at the top of the world rankings.
“I dropped one game because it was difficult to play at the side of the court. But in the end, it was my tactical play that gave me the edge today,” said Rasmussen, who ran into the arms of her fiancee, Martin Baun, a physiotherapist of the Danish national team, after the hard-fought win.
And after the successful defense of the title, Rasmussen was generous with her praises for the passionate Malaysian fans.
“The audience has made this win very special for me. I just felt like everybody liked me. It was like playing at home,” she said and continued:
“I noticed everyone was cheering me on and it brought back the good memories of winning the Malaysian Open last year. And I had the same feeling of winning it again.”
Ready for World Championship
With yesterday’s win, Rasmussen now has a total of four Super Series titles under her belt. She was the 2007 Japan Open champion and also bagged the All-England and Singapore Super Series last year.
Except for some minor injuries that resulted in a brief slowdown last year, Rasmussen has put herself as a genuine contender for the World Championship title in India in August.
“It would have been tougher if the players from China were here but having said that, I won the Malaysian Open last year when they were here. The standard among the few players at the top are about the same,” she said.
“There was some pressure just before and after the Beijing Olympics (last August) when I felt the weight of expectations on me. But things have turned around for me after that and I am only getting better. My main goal this year is to win the World Championships. But before that, I have a job to defend the All-England title. I am looking forward to better times ahead,” the Dane concluded.