FRENCH OPEN 2016 Finals – The new dynasty

China came out as the big winner with four titles at the French Open, as Chen Qingchen became the first teenager to win a Superseries doubles double. Thailand had another […]

China came out as the big winner with four titles at the , as Chen Qingchen became the first teenager to win a doubles double. Thailand had another hard moment as Bodin Isara was appeared seriously injured competing for the title.

By Tarek Hafi, Badzine Correspondent live in Paris. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The legacy

Chen Qingchen brought some comfort to China after the retirement of the great Zhao Yunlei. The 19-year-old protected Zhao’s legacy as the master of the doubles double, proving once more, she is the main player to watch out for until the next Olympics as she displayed some magical badminton throughout the whole week in Paris.

First on finals day, Chen Qingchen brought along her women’s doubles partner Jia Yifan (pictured) in taking care of Korea’s Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee. The Chinese youngsters were splendid, showing no signs of fatigue despite the marathon match they had the day before. Excellent in every department of the game, the two underdogs prevented the Koreans from developing any harmful game.

We really try to give our best in every match. We studied their game a lot and it gave us our first victory in France so we’re really excited right now,” said Jia Yifan after their 21-16, 21-17 win.

The formidable pair have already added their names to the list of tentative qualifiers for Dubai and are hoping for the best: “We still have Hong Kong and our home event left. We will now get prepared and be ready to give it our best shot,” added Jia Yifan.

It was not the end for Chen Qingchen, as she was still lined-up in the mixed doubles event with Zheng Siwei, facing the current world number one Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na (pictured below) of Korea.

Entering the court with a slight psychological advantage for the Koreans, who had won their last of what was already three encounters this year, the Chinese didn’t show any sign of fear as they pulled out a fantastic performance with very well elaborated tactics to finish the match in straight games over the titleholders.

We lost our last match against the Koreans and we wanted to achieve a better result, so we’re really happy to have managed to do that today,” said Zheng Siwei after winning in only thirty-two minutes.

Though the Koreans lost, they still showed some bright smiles after their match, knowing they have only faced a better pair today.

We were doing pretty well in the first game, but they took the lead and we were not able to reverse that. This is a young pair and they’ve been in many finals in a row, so we knew it would be a difficult match,” said Ko Sung Hyun.

As the Koreans now take a short break to be ready to start the China and Hong Kong Superseries campaign, both pairs look to be on track for Dubai. Ko/Kim have mathematically clinched their ticket, while Zheng and Chen now have a 10,000-point cushion over the top chasing pair and will almost certainly be making the trip as well.

The singles future

China’s He Bingjiao blocked any opportunity for Zhang Beiwen (pictured) in today’s final, emerging as the newly crowned queen of the 2016 French Open Superseries. Despite all expectations for this match, the American player came up short of ideas and could not compete with her constantly improving opponent. After grabbing the Japan Open Superseries earlier in September, He Bingjiao concluded her French adventures in a still young career with a 21-9, 21-9 win.

Lee Hyun Il had looked untouchable the whole week, still the Korean found in Shi Yuqi (pictured below) a golden competitor. The Chinese youngster took all the chances and played a flawless match to beat the veteran of the circuit in straight games. Displaying great maturity during his first ever Superseries final, Shi Yuqi kept his calm to grab the title.

“The last time I played him I lost and he was the favourite here, so I just entered the court with no stress and it worked,” commented Shi Yuqi, delighted after his first every Superseries title.

It was unfortunately not a fairy tale for everyone, as the crowd discovered in the men’s doubles final. With Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe of Denmark facing Thailand’s Nipithon Phuangphuapet and Bodin Isara fighting for the trophy, the latter seemed to have severely injured his knee while going for a dive. Isara’s coach spoke to say it was a pre-existing injury, but it had not prevented him playing so far this week. However, with his knee knocking the floor, the Thai player was not able to stand again and was taken straight to the hospital.

The injury brought the trophy to the Danish side, but they would have wished for any other outcome than this.

Final results
Chen Qingchen / Jia Yifan (CHN) beat Chang Ye Na / Lee So Hee (KOR) [6] 21-16, 21-17
WS: He Bingjiao (CHN) beat Zhang Beiwen (USA) 21-9, 21-9
MD: Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (DEN) [2] beat Bodin Isara / Nipitphon Phuangphuapet (THA) 19-21, 21-18, 3-0 [Retired]
XD: Zheng Siwei / Chen Qingchen (CHN) [7] beat Ko Sung Hyun / Kim Ha Na (KOR) [1] 21-16, 21-15
MS: Shi Yuqi (CHN) beat Lee Hyun Il (KOR) 21-16, 21-19

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About Tarek Hafi