A wonderful week of Badminton in Odense came to a close on Sunday, with Kento Momota securing his fifth straight BWF World Tour title. So what did we learn from the Super 750, heading into the France Open starting tomorrow?
Unseeded Marin wreaking havoc with draws
Carolina Marin is a phenomenon. Out for the majority of the year following her serious injury, she comes back and wins the Super 1000 China Open and, although she was knocked out in the Semis by beaten finalist Nozomi Okuhara, she should be proud of her efforts last week. Her lack of action this year has left her unseeded, and this is causing serious problems for some of the top 8.
Her fixtures in Denmark should have included a Round Two clash with first seed Akane Yamaguchi, and then a Quarter Final with PV Sindhu, seeded fifth. This never occurred, as both Yamaguchi and Sindhu fell to shock defeats, but a similar turn of events could happen in Paris later this week. Carolina’s event could pan out like this: Cai (-) / Okuhara (3) / Intanon (6) /Tai (1) or Sindhu (5). With seeds usually kept separate until the Quarter Final stage, it is giving results a distorted feel, and heaping pressure on early round matches.
I don’t think it will be long until Marin is back in the top 8, given her recent form, but this is certainly a scenario to keep an eye on.
It would be churlish to discuss the Women’s Singles and not mention Tai Tzu Ying. In what looked a very open competition, particularly after early defeats for Sindhu and Yamaguchi, TTY came through to retain her title. The World No.1 cruised past Okuhara in truth, though the Japanese star may have been feeling the effects of a tough Semi Final win over Marin.
Tai, a two time winner of the All England, showed tremendous form throughout the week, not dropping a single set over the 5 days. She will be feeling very confident about her prospects for 2020.
Staying with the Women, and from one competitive tournament to another. The Women’s Doubles might be the most fiercely fought of all five disciplines, with all of the top 8 having claims to be the best in the world.
It was a breakthrough pairing who caused an upset yesterday, however. Baek Ha Na & Jung Kyung Eun stunned the current holders of two of the Super 1000 titles, Chen & Jia, to claim the trophy. This was the South Korean pair’s first ever final at this level – 1 from 1 isn’t a bad return. Expect to see plenty more of these two in the coming years. And if you haven’t see it, head to our Twitter here to see the reaction photo at the moment of victory – pure joy!
Momota, Kevin and Marcus make it a procession
The bald facts are these. Kento Momota has won his last five tournaments. These include one Super 500, two Super 750s and the Super 1000 China Open, to go with his World Championship title in August. And this is without mentioning his All England victory, a win in the Asia Championships, and a further Super 750 gong in his home country in July. The man is a machine, and is looking unstoppable.
Meanwhile, the stats in the Men’s Doubles paint an equally one sided picture. Triumph in Denmark for Kevin Sukamuljo and Marcus Gideon was their sixth tournament title of 2019. This includes the China Open and the Indonesia Open, and they could have added another one to their achievements but for a defeat in the Asia Championships final. They have been victorious in four of their last seven events – though their opponents on Sunday, Ahsan & Setiawan, have won the World Championships in that time.
What does this tell us in context of the All England? It tells us that Momota and Kevin & Marcus will be the ones to beat come March.
Mixed Double Delight
And we finish with probably the best Final at the Denmark Open. It was a quite incredible, topsy-turvy matchup between Praveen Jordan/Melati Oktavianti and Wang Yi Lyu / Huang Dong Ping, which culminated in a final set that almost defied belief. The Indonesian pair eventually took the honours, winning the decider 21-19 after a blistering final rally – well worth checking out.
It was Jordan and Oktavianti’s first trophy as a pairing – and we bet it won’t be the last for these two.
Want to see the World’s oldest and most prestigious tournament in March 2020? Tickets for the YONEX All England 2020 are now available here