Vietnamese badminton star Nguyen Tien Minh beat Wing Ki Wong of Hong Kong to win the 2013 US Open Grand Prix Gold men's singles championship on Saturday.
It was a hard-fought battle for Minh, ranked ninth worldwide, against Wong, ranked 15th by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
A large crowd of Vietnamese expatriates in Orange County, California came to support the third-seeded Minh, yet he lost the first set 21-18 amid relentless attacks from Minh, 23.
However, Minh, 30, played better in the second set and the match continued to see-saw to a 17-17 score before the more experienced Vietnamese player scored the final four points to take the set 21-17.
Wong scored the first three points in the decider, but Minh leveled the score at 7-7 before taking seven straight points to take a commanding 14-7 lead.
Wong could not stop Minh from taking the set 21-18; and claiming the title after 85 minutes of intense athletic drama.
It was the first time Minh has won the US Open championship. He lost in the finals to Sho Sasaki (Japan) in the finals two years ago.
The US Open victory earned Minh US$9,000 and 7,000 BWF points.