India Open 2023: An Se Young stops Akane Yamaguchi juggernaut to clinch women’s singles title

The world no. 4 Korean, just like her win in the semifinal against He Bingjiao, lost the opening game 15-21 before coming back to win the match with solid defence and an array of strokes.

World no. 4 An Se Young clinched her 12th BWF World Tour title at the India Open Super Series on January 22, 2023.

World no. 4 An Se Young clinched her 12th BWF World Tour title at the India Open Super Series on January 22, 2023. | Photo Credit: R. V. Moorthy

The world no. 4 Korean, just like her win in the semifinal against He Bingjiao, lost the opening game 15-21 before coming back to win the match with solid defence and an array of strokes.

An Se Young stopped the Akane Yamaguchi juggernaut to become the first player from Korea to clinch the India Open Super 750 title at the K.D. Jadhav Hall in New Delhi on Sunday.

It was two-time world champion and world no. 1 Yamaguchi’s third straight final on the BWF World Tour. In December, she won the season finale - World Tour Finals - and Malaysia Open in January.

The world no. 4 Korean, just like her win in the semifinal against He Bingjiao, lost the opening game 15-21 before coming back to win the match with solid defence and an array of strokes. She won the second game 21-16.

In the deciding game, Young, who lost her last four matches against Yamaguchi, including the Malaysia Open final last week, held her nerves and recovered from a 2-4 deficit to take an 11-8 lead at the interval with immaculate slow crosscourt drops and shrewd net play.

The game saw both players engaging in two breathtaking rallies - 32 and 51 shots, as the 20-year-old Young clinched the season’s second Super Series title, claiming the third game 21-12.

Young complemented her sharp attack with solid defence, retrieving world no. 1 Yamaguchi’s killing returns to score points with angled strokes. After the win, Young released her pent-up emotion by celebrating and acknowledging the support of the Indian spectators.

The match lasted one hour and two minutes. This was Young’s sixth win against Yamaguchi, who won ten times previously.

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Chinese pairings pull out of finals

Earlier, Chinese mixed and women’s doubles pairings gave a walkover to the doubles finals due to illness.

World no. 3 Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino of Japan won the mixed doubles title after world no. 2 Wang Yilyu could not appear for the final with his partner Huang Dongping due to diarrhoea.

The Chinese women’s doubles pairing of Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan also gave a walkover to their final as Qingchen, too, suffered from diarrhoea. As a result, Japanese Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida won the title.

Meanwhile, China’s Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang beat Aaron Chia-Sho Wooiki to win the men’s singles final 14-21, 21-19, 21-18.

Later today, Viktor Axelsen will play Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the men’s singles final.

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