Russia’s Rodion Alimov and Alina Davletova achieved the biggest triumph of their young careers, beating top seeds Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith for the mixed doubles title at the Ecogreen Syed Modi International Badminton Championships 2019 in Lucknow yesterday.
The victory marked Russia’s first mixed doubles title on the HSBC BWF World Tour.
It was a day that saw two other debut titles on the HSBC BWF World Tour, with Wang Tzu Wei in men’s singles and He Ji Ting/Tan Qiang in men’s doubles.
But it was Alimov and Davletova who stole the show. The Russian duo had a sensational week, upsetting second seeds Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet in the quarterfinals (11-21 23-21 21-11) and sixth seeds Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue in the last four (21-16 18-21 21-9) before turning the tables on Ellis/Smith in the final, 21-18 21-16.
Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei celebrated his qualification to the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2019 by winning his first World Tour title. The world No.22 outclassed local hope Sourabh Verma 21-15 21-17 in the men’s singles final.
Wang’s last title was back in 2016 when he won the Dutch Open, then a Grand Prix tournament. He made three finals in 2017 – in Germany, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand – but lost all three. His best performance since then was a semifinal at the Korea Open this year.
Wang, who was the eighth and last qualifier to the World Tour Finals, came through a potentially difficult draw. He beat India’s HS Prannoy in three games in the second round, Malaysia’s Soo Teck Zhi in the quarterfinals, and Korea’s Son Wan Ho in the semifinals. Soo had earlier upset top seed Shi Yu Qi in the first round, 25-23 21-17.
In men’s doubles, He Ji Ting and Tan Qiang cruised through the draw dropping just one game. The fifth seeds from China outgunned Liao Min Chun/Su Ching Heng in the quarterfinals and compatriots Di Zi Jian/Wang Chang in the semifinals, 17-21 21-11 21-11. They faced recent Hong Kong Open champions Choi Solgyu/Seo Seung Jae in the title clash and made it past the Koreans, 21-18 21-19.
In women’s singles, Carolina Marin made a winning return after injury disrupted her last two tournaments. Marin had retired in the first round of the Fuzhou China Open and conceded a walkover at the Gwangju Korea Masters the previous week, but stormed to the title in Lucknow without dropping a game. The Spaniard was too strong for Thailand’s Phittayaporn Chaiwan in the final, 21-12 21-16.
The all-Korean women’s doubles final ended with Baek Ha Na/Jung Kyung Eun clinching their third title of the season. Baek/Jung beat compatriots Chang Ye Na/Kim Hye Rin 23-21 21-15 to wrap up a season that also saw them win the Hyderabad Open and the Denmark Open.