U.S. OPEN 2010 Finals – Ouseph: “Biggest win of my career”

Rajiv Ouseph and Zhu Lin won the singles events of the Yonex OCBC U.S. Open Grand Prix Gold on Saturday night, in the Orange County Badminton Club. A career first […]


Rajiv Ouseph and Zhu Lin won the singles events of the Yonex OCBC Gold on Saturday night, in the Orange County Badminton Club. A career first for the English man, the U.S. Open was the second win in a row for the Chinese.

By Raphaël Sachetat (with Badminton England). Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

There’s a first for everything. For great victories too, and Rajiv Ouseph (photo) was the one to enjoy this particular feeling when he beat Brice Leverdez of France for his first big success on the senior tour.

Had the Frenchman won, it would have been a first for him too, but two finals in a row were just too much for France’s rising star and he bowed to Ouseph in straight games 21-17, 21-9, in a little more than 30 minutes after a similar fate against Taufik Hidayat in Richmond last week.

Ouseph dropped just two games in the whole tournament – in his opening win and in the semi-finals – and the victory made up for his team-mate Carl Baxter’s defeat by Leverdez in the third round in Los Angeles. He also avenged his own defeat to another Frenchman last week in Canada as he had then been beaten by former French national champion Simon Maunoury.

ZHU.Lin-10-CHN-SH-GermanOpen2009Ouseph’s coach, Kenneth Jonassen, just a few weeks into the job, was all praise for the English player: “It was a good win for Raj. Both players were tense at the start but Raj was able to pick up his level compared to his earlier games and was in control of the match. He played a good mix of skill and physical play and made Brice look for winners. That produced easy mistakes as a result of the pressure Raj put him under.Raj did even better in the second game, with more variation, dedication and total tactical dominance. Raj was the stronger player on court today,” analyzed the Dane.

Ouseph, the former European Junior Champion who was European bronze medallist in Manchester in April to add to his third successive English national title in February, said: “This was an important win for me, especially after the poor display in Canada last week when I lost in the second round. I was feeling some pressure during this tournament but, after the first difficult round, I felt more relaxed and confident. I am happy to have won a lot of hard matches against tough players this week. It’s definitely the biggest win of my career and now I am ready to take on new challenges.  I am looking forward to the World Championships in Paris in three weeks.”

Zhu Lin once again

If Ouseph was celebrating his first win, it wasn’t the case for Zhu Lin (photo), who had bagged a number of Super Series Gold medals and a world championship title.  She added another Grand Prix title to her fortnight after Canada’s event last week by defeating Judith Meulendijks.  The Dutch fought well in the first game, losing only 19-21 but had to withdraw in the second game, trailing 6-11. China sent only one shuttler to Vancouver and Los Angeles, but she came back with two crowns while the rest of her compatriots are still involved in their local league.

FUCHS-OVERZIER-01-GER-YL-MalaysiaOpen2010Germany’s Fuchs and Overzier (photo) prevented the clean sweep of Chinese Taipei in the doubles events as they beat Chien/Lee in straight games for what could be the biggest surprise of the week. “We are just starting together and this was a fantastic tournament for us. Its our first ever victory in a Grand Prix event, for Birgit and myself,” said Michael Fuchs in an exclusive interview with Badzine Germany (HERE)

Taipei’s Fang and Lee turned shuttles into gold again – their fourth title in a row after Singapore, Indonesia (both Super Series) and Canada’s Grand Prix event. With this win, they are likely to enter the top 5 pairs in the world, overtaking Korea’s Jung and Lee and former world champions Paaske/Rasmussen. The Taipei pair are supposed to be heading to Macau for this coming week’s tournament but will have little time to adjust to the jet lag if they can make it there on time.

Results HERE

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.