A thrilling week of entertainment drew to a close in Paris on Sunday. What did we learn from the Super 750 event?
The Momota Express Grinds To A Halt
So Kento Momota is human after all. It looked a case of one tournament too far for the world no.1; in the second round, he was two points away from defeat against HK Vittinghus, who couldn’t take advantage – Anthony Ginting did.
How much should we read into this surprising exit? Well, not very much. All England champ Momota had won 28 matches in a row before this reverse. This stretched over 5 tournaments; he obviously took home the trophy from each.
This looked more a case of fatigue, and coming up against an opponent who was not suffering, given his early exit from the Denmark Open the previous week.
Having said that, we’ll be watching his next few appearances closely – how you respond to defeat is the mark of any great champion.
On a side note, it was great to see Chen Long come out on top. It’s been a tough 12 months for the multiple All England winner, and his success in Paris was his first tournament victory since 2018 – in France. Talk of decline may well be premature.
Age Is Just A Number
An Se Young is going to be the next badminton superstar.
The 17-year-old followed up an impressive time in Denmark with a crushing victory in Paris. Carolina Marin seemed destined to secure the crown, particularly following a brutal first set.
But An Se Young proved her mettle, taking a close second, before producing some destructive play of her own to secure the title 21-5 in the third.
Does she have any weaknesses in her game? As her stamina improves and she gains more experience around the world – including her first appearance at the All England in March – we can only see her going from strength to strength.
It’ll be up to the old guard of Tai Tzu Ying, Marin, Sindhu and Nehwal to try and stop her.
Monster Minions v Destructive Daddies Great For The Sport
So we clearly rate Marcus & Kevin very highly – our pick to win the Men’s Doubles before the tournament began did not let us down, securing a straightforward victory over surprise Indian package Rankireddy and Shetty in the final.
Their dominance is becoming more impressive tournament after tournament, and the only pair who seem remotely able to stop them are Ahsan & Setiawan, who will be disappointed with their results in the French capital.
This rivalry is brewing quite nicely, which can only be good for the sport. Indonesia is blessed with some superb players at the moment, and the Minons v the Daddies is certainly a rivalry to savour.
Hope For The English Contingent
It was the biggest game of the day on Saturday; English sporting giants facing a showdown of epic proportions against Southern Hemisphere opponents in a mouth-watering Semi Final clash.
Sadly, the Adcocks lost out to eventual winners Jordan & Oktavianti in the Mixed Doubles… sorry, did you think we were talking about something else?
In all seriousness, it was a superb week for the married pair; they played some excellent badminton throughout, and with a bit more luck could have snatched the first set in the semi – making it anyone’s ball game.
With a solid quarter-final appearance for another homegrown pair, Jess Pugh and Ben Lane, the English representatives can look back at their week with pride as they look to build momentum towards 2020 – and the All England.
Trophies Are Like Buses for Jordan & Oktavianti
So the last word goes to the Adcocks’ conquerors and eventual winners Praveen Jordan and Melati Oktavianti. Having not won a title together before, the last week or so must feel like a dream.
Adding one Super 750 to the cabinet is good, but two? And the style with which they have done it is to be applauded. They dropped just two sets in France – and both by very narrow margins (19-21 in the Second Round, and a 22-24 reverse in the first set of the Final).
If this Indonesian pair keep on as they are now, surely they will be eyeing considerable success in 2020.