Poll – The most deserving Superseries runner-up?

In the past year, we have seen the conversion to Superseries champions of several players who had come so close in the past.  Have your say on who deserves to […]

Clockwise from top left: Kenichi Hayakawa / Hiroyuki Endo, Du Pengyu, Kenichi Tago, Ayaka Takahashi / Misaki Matsutomo, Bae Yeon Ju, Hu Yun, Angga Pratama / Ryan Agung Saputra, Marc Zwiebler, Eriko Hirose © Badmintonphoto

In the past year, we have seen the conversion to champions of several players who had come so close in the past.  Have your say on who deserves to be the next.

Tommy Sugiarto may have won the Singapore Open title in his first ever Superseries appearance but several players have been in the role of bridesmaid-but-never-bride when it comes to Superseries finals and two of these reprised that role this month in Indonesia and Singapore.

Still, while we often see new partnerships or Cinderella stories leapfrog into the role of title winner without having come up short in a Superseries final, the past year has seen players such as Juliane Schenk, Ratchanok Intanon, Sung Ji Hyun (pictured), and Tai Tzu Ying finally get to the top of the podium.

The longest-suffering cases of the runner-up blues have yet to be cured, however.  World #5 Kenichi Tago (pictured below), for example, was denied for the fourth time in India this year.  His first Superseries final was none other than the All England in 2010.

Tago’s compatriots Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi are already at #2 in the world rankings and they have made 3 fruitless trips to finals just in the past 10 months.

Indonesia Open runner-up Marc Zwiebler has arguably been waiting the longest as his first Superseries silver was in 2009 at the Denmark Open.  Two entries in our list, Bae Yeon Ju and Pratama/Saputra, reached their last Superseries final in 2011; however, both have been back in the hunt in the semi-finals of Superseries events in 2013.

Not surprisingly, the top 10 in each discipline are populated largely with past Superseries winners.  In women’s singles, each of the top ten shuttlers has at least one title to her name.  In the case of men’s singles, 4 are still waiting for their chance but all but one has been to at least one final.

In each doubles discipline, only 3 of the 10 are without a title, and none of the three hapless mixed pairs have been past the semi-final stage.

The most frequent near-winners are as follows:

Kenichi Tago (JPN) – All England 2010, France 2011, Malaysia 2012, India 2013
Du Pengyu (CHN) – Indonesia, Denmark & SS Finals 2012, Korea 2013
Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) – Denmark 2012, Malaysia & Singapore 2013
Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa (JPN) – China Masters & SS Finals 2012, All England 2013
Bae Yeon Ju (KOR) – Malaysia & SS Finals 2010, India 2011
Marc Zwiebler (GER) – Denmark 2009, Indonesia 2013
Eriko Hirose (JPN) – All England 2011, Japan 2012
Hu Yun (HKG) – China Masters 2012
Angga Pratama / Ryan Agung Saputra (INA) – India 2011

Cast your vote on who you think deserves to turn silver into gold when the Superseries resumes in September.  Don’t forget to leave your comment below if you’d like to explain your choice.

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net