He came to Auckland with top billing, he came with superstar status, Lin Dan did not fail to deliver at the New Zealand Badminton Open.

During a week of record-breaking crowds, a best-ever field of players with 40 players or combinations in the top 50 in the world, lefthander Lin was the star turn.

Today the two-time Olympic champion, now world No 7, saw off Indonesia's Jonatan Christie 21-14 21-19 to the delight of his crowd of fans.

The contest between No 1 and No 2 was impressive. Christie lived with Dan throughout much of the match, indeed leading 19-16 in the second game. However Lin rattled off five straight points, ripped off his shirt in delight and saluted the crowd.


"I was not worried about the second game, having already won the first, I was just looking to conserve energy and get ready for the third game,'' the 34-year-old said.

"This is my first time to New Zealand, I have not won a tournament yet this year and I have prepared well for the New Zealand Open and I am pleased that I have been able to win in front of such a wonderful crowd of supporters."

Lin hinted that this might not be a one-off visit to New Zealand.

"I have enjoyed my time here and of course, I would like to come back and defend my title if everything allows me the chance to do so,'' he said.

The women's singles top seed, Sayaka Takahashi of Japan, lived up to her billing, beating unseeded Chinese player Zhang Yiman 21-13 21-14.

However Zhang can expect her world ranking of 119 to rise considerably.

The mixed doubles final of the Barfoot & Thompson-sponsored event went to three games, before Taipei's third-seeded Wang Chi-Lin and Lee Chia Hsin prevailed over Korans Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yujung, the fifth seeds, 21-19 14-21 21-19.

Wang used his powerful aerial game and smash to good effect, combining brilliantly with Lee who prowled the net and defended superbly.


In truth the game could have gone either way, with small moments deciding the contest.

"Playing the Koreans was quite difficult, we have played them before and lost twice and we have not handled the game of Seo well at all, he has always been tough to counter," said Wang.

The women's doubles provided a career highlight for Japan's Ayako Sakuramoto and Yukiko Takahata, runners up in last year's tournament, who beat China's Cao Tong Wei and Yu Zheng 21-9, 21-19.

The Japanese pair always had the match under control against their more powerful Chinese opponents.

"We have never played this pair before but recognised their strength was in their power. We had to make sure we did not make mistakes, keep getting the shuttle back and stay in every point for as long as we could," said Sakuramoto of their tactics, which worked a treat.

A Taipei combination also won the men's doubles.

World No 7 and top seeds Chen and Wang edged out second-seeded Indonesians Berry Angriawan and Hardianto 21-17 21-17 to repeat their victory of last year.

"We played very well as a combination today and all week, today Wang played a very good match and carried us to the win,'' Chen said.