DENMARK OPEN 2017 Finals – Tse treats Tang to 1st title

Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet saved 5 match points en route to beating the World #1 and making the Denmark Open their first Superseries title. By Don Hearn.  […]

Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet saved 5 match points en route to beating the World #1 and making the their first title.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yohan Nonotte / Badmintonphoto (live)

Tse Ying Suet may have waited more than five years to get the second Superseries title of her career but it was her partner Tang Chun Man (pictured right) who really had reason to celebrate.  What was their first Superseries as a pair was the first of Tang’s career.

Tang Chun Man was not particularly known as a mixed specialist, nor even as a top-echelon player when he and Tse teamed up last year.  After a couple of false starts in the spring of 2016, they quickly put themselves on the map by reaching the final of the Thai Open, then followed that up with a Grand Prix title and a Superseries semi-final appearance in Hong Kong.

This year, they were a little light on medals but became increasingly dangerous to several of the top ten pairs, including world #1 Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen (pictured below).  But while the victory over the world’s top pair at the Sudirman Cup had come at the end of a tie the Chinese had already won, Sunday’s victory had to be fought and clawed from the top seeds’ grasp.

The match was close throughout, with the first two games ending in a 2-point difference.  The decider was all small leads and short rallies, as the closely-matched duos seemed to feel ample pressure off the serve and the first few shots.

Twice, Zheng and Chen looked like they would pull away but they were reeled in after gaining a 10-5 lead and a few painfully short exchanges erased the similar advantage they enjoyed with 5 match points at 20-15.  The Hong Kong pair had to save one more in extra points before they took the match on their first opportunity and began celebrating.

The other two doubles titles were also firsts for the respective pairs but certainly not for the individual players.  Korea’s Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan (pictured right) began playing together in their early teens but after continuing as a pair in the first 3 years after juniors, they were split up to each finish the Olympic qualifying period with veteran partners.  The Koreans still had occasional reunions but this time, it seems that their partnerships with Chang Ye Na and Jung Kyung Eun are done for the year, except possibly for Dubai.

The most recent return of the Lee/Shin combination was this past summer, when they suffered an early exit in Canada but regrouped to make the U.S. Open their first Grand Prix Gold title together.  On Sunday in Odense, they did even better by grabbing their first Superseries title together.  They beat India Open winners Shiho Tanaka / Koharu Yonemoto in two surprisingly one-sided games.

World Champions beat World #1

For Zhang Nan and Liu Cheng (pictured left), too, the 2017 Denmark Open was their first Superseries title as a pair.  But not only did Liu already have one title of his own before he accompanied one of the all-time Superseries doubles leaders to the top of the podium, but this victory also came after they had already been crowned World Champions.

A Superseries – in particular a Premier-level one like the Denmark Open – will quite often boast a tougher field than the Worlds and in this case, Zhang and Liu had to face the World #1 pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.  If the Chinese shuttlers wanted their first Superseries title, they were going to have to take it away from a pair hungry for their fifth one of the year.

The Indonesians saved two match points in the second game and forced the decider but Liu and Zhang narrowly pulled out the decider.  The runner-up performance still means that Gideon and Sukamuljo are the first to mathematically clinch their spot for Dubai, apart from two women’s doubles pairs and the five World Champions, whose Dubai tickets are automatic.

In the women’s singles, Ratchanok Intanon (pictured right) won her first title since that historic run of three she did just over a year and a half ago.  She beat defending champion Akane Yamaguchi in the longest match of the afternoon.

Srikanth Kidambi (pictured bottom) was the only winner on the afternoon who added to a Superseries title haul for the 2017 season.  He enjoyed a seemingly effortless romp past Korean veteran Lee Hyun Il.  Lee had reached the final on the back of upsets of both the Olympic gold medallist and the top seed but he just had no answer for Srikanth’s precision and athleticism.

After claiming their medals, all of the finalists got set to head south for the French Open in Paris, to be held this week, but Zheng/Chen and Lee/Shin will be changing partners after that, with new duos to be tested in the China and Hong Kong Opens, while Chen Qingchen will be taking a break from mixed.

Final results
WD:  Lee So Hee / Shin Seung Chan (KOR) beat Shiho Tanaka / Koharu Yonemoto (JPN) [6]  21-13, 21-16
XD:  Tang Chun Man / Tse Ying Suet (HKG) [8] beat Zheng Siwei / Chen Qingchen (CHN) [1]  24-22, 19-21, 23-21
WS:  Ratchanok Intanon (THA) beat Akane Yamaguchi (JPN) [4]  14-21, 21-15, 21-19
MD:  Liu Cheng / Zhang Nan (CHN) [5] beat Marcus Fernaldi Gideon / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA) [2]  21-16, 22-24, 21-19
MS:  Kidambi Srikanth (IND) [8] beat Lee Hyun Il (KOR)  21-10, 21-5

Click here for complete results

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 @