Sapsiree Taerattanachai has become the first player to have won Grand Prix Gold titles in all three categories after her win in the mixed doubles in Basel today. China swept all four other titles, with Lin Dan easily beating Shi Yuqi.
By Don Hearn and Raphael Sachetat. Photos: Sven Heise / Badmintonphoto (live)
Today, Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Dechapol Puavaranukroh (photo) added the Swiss Open mixed doubles title to Sapsiree’s 2013 U.S. Open women’s singles and her 2012 India Grand Prix Gold women’s doubles titles. It is difficult to ascertain who was the last person to achieve such a feat but it is likely Korean great Ra Kyung Min. Way back in 1997, she added the Hong Kong Open women’s doubles title to her Singapore Open singles title and her then-growing collection of mixed titles. Earlier that year, Indonesia’s Bambang Suprianto closed his own loop with a mixed title. The Thais played a beautiful week of badminton and Sapsiree now shines on the doubles and mixed stage after entering the world of badminton with a bang in 2010 when she grabbed girls’ singles gold in the Youth Olympics in Singapore.
The Thais beat Debby Susanto and Praveen Jordan 21-18, 21-15 in 40 minutes, making it an even 2-2 in their confrontations. Their win in Basel may even bring them closer their opponents of the day in the world ranking – they were 11th and 8th respectively before the tournament started. Thai flag was the only one flying on Sunday apart from the usual red and gold Chinese one as China clinched all others finals. It was a done deal in men’s singles, women’s singles and men’s doubles with compatriots playing each other, but Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan (photo) made sure they got the fourth one, beating Bulgaria’s Stoeva sisters. The result of the singles finals, however, were not necessarily what was expected.
Lin Dan made light work of his younger opponent Shi Yuqi (pictured bottom), a week after losing to the young Chinese in straight games in Birmingham. This time, as if Lin wanted to put things back in order, the two-time Olympic champions won 21-12, 21-11 in just over 30 minutes.
Chen Xiaoxin made her mark in the women’s singles, beating the reigning World Junior Champion Chen Yufei 21-19, 21-14 and thus reversing the result of their last meeting, in the final of the Macau Open late last year. Logic prevailed in the men’s doubles, when top seeds Hong Wei and Chai Biao (pictured) beat Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan in three games. The win ended a long title drought for the Chinese pair, who last topped a podium nearly two years ago, at the 2015 India Open.
WS: Chen Xiaoxin (CHN) beat Chen Yufei (CHN)  21-19, 21-14
XD: Sapsiree Taerattanachai / Dechapol Puavaranukroh (THA)  beat Praveen Jordan / Debby Susanto (INA)  21-18, 21-15
WD: Chen Qingchen /Jia Yifan (CHN)  beat Gabriela Stoeva / Stefani Stoeva (BUL)  21-16, 21-15
MD: Hong Wei / Chai Biao (CHN)  beat Liu Cheng / Zhang Nan (CHN) 13-21, 21-16, 21-15
MS: Lin Dan (CHN)  beat Shi Yuqi (CHN)  21-12, 21-11