Swiss Open: Koki Watanabe Emerges Surprise Winner

World No.37 Koki Watanabe completed an impressive journey to his first HSBC BWF World Tour title as he outplayed Chou Tien Chen in the men’s singles final of the YONEX Swiss Open 2023 today.

There were other first-time winners of the Super 300 level – mixed doubles champions Jiang Zhen Bang/Wei Ya Xin, and Rena Miyaura, who won the women’s doubles with Ayako Sakuramoto, a past Swiss Open champion with a different partner.

Watanabe, who was promoted to the main draw from the qualifiers’ list, proved more than a match for his veteran opponent, taking the title 22-20 21-18 21-12 in 74 minutes. Watanabe’s previous best at a tournament of this level was a semifinal finish at the YONEX Chinese Taipei Open in 2019.

Chou was the favourite, so I had to go all out and just play my best game and not worry about how he would play,” said the champion. “I knew it would be tough. My strategy was to keep attacking and not wait for his mistakes.”

Pornpawee Chochuwong won the women’s singles crown.

Chou, who in the semifinals had beaten top seed Viktor Axelsen for only the third time in 19 matches, sought to look at the positives from the week.

“It was a tough match, he played really well,” said the world No.6. “I tried to follow up and tried to put more speed, more focus and more spirit. I’m not so happy with the result, but I’m happy to be here in the final. It’s an amazing crowd, and I enjoyed being here.

“Yesterday I played Viktor and I won after a long time, so that gives me confidence as I go for Olympic qualification.”

Meanwhile, Pornpawee Chochuwong broke a three-year long spell without a World Tour title as she beat Mia Blichfeldt in the final. Chochuwong’s last victory before this was the Barcelona Spain Masters in February 2020.

“We both played three games in the semifinals,” said Chochuwong. “I was tired today and I was a bit slow, but I had to control myself to play today. So today I tried not to put much pressure on myself. I tried to keep the focus on every shot I played.”


Jiang Zhen Bang and Wei Ya Xin, mixed doubles winners.
  • Miyaura and Sakuramoto did not have to take to court as their opponent Yuki Fukushima was nursing a right shoulder injury. While this was Miyaura’s first Super 300 title, Sakuramoto had won the Swiss Open in 2018 with Yukiko Takahata.
  • Jiang Zhen Bang/Wei Ya Xin continued their impressive journey in their nascent career, making it back-to-back titles after winning the Ruichang China Masters (BWF Tour Super 100) earlier this month.
  • Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty grabbed their first title since Rankireddy’s comeback from injury, beating Chinese pair Ren Xiang Yu/Tan Qiang 21-19 24-22.


It was a great week, we always like to come here. We haven’t been in a final since last year, so that was good as we’ve been in the (Swiss Open) final for two consecutive years.” – Lai Shevon Jemie

We wanted to do well and personally it’s my comeback tournament so it’s emotional for me. We wanted to go all-in. Even when we were leading we knew it could still get close, so there was no need to hurry.” – Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

“We had seeded opponents in the first round so we had to go all-out from the beginning. It’s a shame we couldn’t play today, but in Spain we will try to perform as well we did here.” – Ayako Sakuramoto

“I injured my right shoulder so was unable to play today. We’re disappointed we couldn’t play, but it’s still good that we made the final.” – Yuki Fukushima

“My performance today was better than I expected, but disappointed that I didn’t win. It’s a long time since I played a final, so it feels good and I feel I’m on the right road now.” – Mia Blichfeldt

We won the first game and in the second we were impatient and we got a bit nervous. We need to learn from these tournaments and we need to get better in tactics. This win will give us more confidence.” – Wei Ya Xin

Results (Finals)

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