Last weekend the Asia Superseries spotlight fell on the OUE Singapore Open as some of the world’s best badminton players went to head to head on the court.
The competition was the fourth event so far in the 2017 Superseries with the YONEX All England Open first up followed by the Asia-based tournaments of the YONEX SUNRISE India Open, CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open and then the OUE Singapore Open.
Action now takes a break before the BCA Indonesia Open in mid June so while the players stop to catch their break, what better time to reflect on some impressive numbers so far in the Asia Superseries.
Five-star Tai reigns supreme in Singapore
The number of straight Super Series titles won by Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying now stands at an impressive five.
The world’s number one ranked female player is the one to beat at the moment, and her imperious form will no doubt add to her already fearsome reputation.
She defeated Carolina Marin of Spain, the reigning Olympic champion and world number two, in the final of the OUE Singapore Open to claim her latest crown – the same player she beat at the CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open earlier in the month.
Before that came wins at the YONEX All England Open, Dubai World Superseries final and YONEX Sunrise Hong Kong Open.
Third time’s the charm for Axelsen
It was third time lucky for Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in this year’s YONEX Sunrise India Open. The Dane had reached the final of the tournament in the last two years, but had lost out to Indian Kidambi Srikanth in 2015 and Japan’s Kento Momota last year.
However, the 23-year-old Rio 2016 bronze medallist banished his demons by overpowering Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien-chen 21-13 21-10 in New Delhi on April 2.
That built on a strong end to 2016 for Axelsen which saw the world number three crowned World Superseries champion in Dubai.
64 and counting for legend Lin Dan
The number of singles titles now won by legendary shuttler Lin Dan after his victory in the men’s singles final at the CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open is an astonishing 64.
He defeated arch-rival and world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia 21-19 and 21-14.
Remarkably it was the two-time Olympic champion’s first CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open title at the age of 33 after finishing as runner up three times previously. He opted out of playing the subsequent OUE Singapore Open.
Three is the magic number for mixed doubles duo
Chinese mixed doubles pair Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong have now triumphed three times out of four this season.
Most recently they reigned supreme again in the OUE Singapore Open by defeating Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in the final. It was the fourth final the Chinese pair have reached out of four tournaments on this tour, while the Thai duo were appearing in their first final.
The only blip – if you could call it such a thing – for the Lu and Huang was when they finished as runners up at the CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open earlier this month after losing to compatriots Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen.
Huang also came away as a runner up at in the women’s doubles at the same event.
India continue to show their strength
At the OUE Singapore Open, India became only the fourth country to have both players from the same nation in a Super Series final, the other three being China, Denmark and Indonesia.
B Sai Praneeth came from behind to defeat Kidambi Srikanth 17-21, 21-17, 21-12 in the final last weekend.
After his victory, Praneeth procured two India flags, giving one to Srikanth, so both could shoulder their country’s colours on the podium.
Praneeth also became only the fourth Indian after Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Srikanth to win a Superseries event.
Not the result i wanted but sai played well to finish off the game. I had a good lead in the 2nd set after winning 1st but couldn’t capitalize on it. Many positives to take from this tournament and will definitely come back strong. Thank you everyone for all your support and wishes. #singaporeopen #superseries #final #believe #achieve #comebackstronger