U.S. OPEN 2013 Finals – Titles for five different nations

The Yonex OCBC U.S. Open finals could not have concluded in a more interesting way as five different nations took one title each. By Lee Zhi Jun, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: […]

The Yonex OCBC finals could not have concluded in a more interesting way as five different nations took one title each.

By Lee Zhi Jun, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Singles power

In the only match that stretched to three games, Vietnam’s star, Nguyen Tien Minh (pictured left) defeated Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki. Nguyen was playing catch up to Wong throughout the whole of the first game, but the fortunes were reversed in the second game where Nguyen played brilliantly to finish up the second game 21-17.

The final game saw Wong running out of steam at 7-all. After that, it was Nguyen all the way, with Wong always close behind him, the Vietnam player wrapped the game up at 21-18.  This win is sweet for Nguyen as he lost in the battle for the U.S. title two years back.  It should give him another boost of confidence as he heads to his seventh World Championship appearance having won three titles since last summer’s Olympics.

Thailand’s Sapsiree Taerattanachai cruised to victory in her match against Japan’s Yuka Kusunose, who was playing in her first ever Grand Prix final. Sapsiree beat her opponent in straight games, 21-12, 21-13 to finally add a major singles title to her doubles accomplishments of the past year.

Double disappointment for the young Yaqiong

The finals started with the women’s doubles event which saw China’s Bao Yixin / Zhong Qianxin beating their compatriots, Huang Yaqiong (pictured right) Yu Xiaohan in a two-game thriller of 21-17, 24-22. Both pairs were neck-and-neck throughout the two games, but eventually the more experienced Bao/Zhong pulled through to win the title.

This is a great comeback title for Bao / Zhong as the pair have not played together internationally since last year’s French Open due to Zhong’s injury.

Huang was also let down in the mixed doubles event when she and her partner Wang Yilu were beaten easily by Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei / Chau Hoi Wah (pictured left). Reigning boy’s doubles World Junior Champion Lee and his veteran partner played convincingly to capture their first mixed doubles title of the year after coming agonisingly close at two International Challenges earlier in the year and the Chinese Taipei Open last autumn.

West Coast joy for Japanese pair

Chinese Taipei’s Liang Jui Wei / Liao Kuan Hao really pushed Japanese Takeshi Kamura / Keigo Sonoda in the second game.  But it was the Japanese who were grittier and came out victorious from the match, winning it 21-16, 27-25.  The West Coast seems to be a happy hunting ground for the Japanese as they have previously won the 2012 Canada Open title and they will be hoping that lady luck continues smiling on them as they head back up to British Columbia for another Grand Prix after winning this Grand Prix Gold in Los Angeles this weekend.

Final results
WD: Bao Yixin / Zhong Qianxin (CHN) [1] beat Huang Yaqiong / Yu Xiaohan (CHN)  21-17, 24-22
MS: Nguyen Tien Minh (VIE) [3] beat Wong Wing Ki (HKG) [4]  18-21, 21-17, 21-18
WS: Sapsiree Taerattanachai (THA) [3] beat Yuka Kusunose (JPN)  21-12, 21-13
XD: Lee Chun Hei / Chau Hoi Wah (HKG) [1] beat Wang Yilu / Huang Yaqiong (CHN)  21-8, 21-14
MD: Takeshi Kamura Keigo Sonoda (JPN) [1] beat Liang Jui Wei / Liao Kuan Hao (TPE) [7]  21-16, 27-25

Click here for complete, detailed results

About Zhi Jun Lee