For a player of Gregoria Mariska Tunjung’s quality, it might seem odd that she’d never won a title on the HSBC BWF World Tour before Sunday. The Indonesian corrected that anomaly at the Madrid Spain Masters 2023 with a clinical demolition of Pusarla V. Sindhu.
Her 21-8 21-8 result was also her first victory over her Indian opponent in eight matches. Tunjung is currently enjoying a spell of great form, reflected in her career-best rank of No.12. Her previous highest titles were International Challenge/International Series level, with the last coming in April 2018 at the Finnish Open
“I feel happy to finally get my title here in Spain, after such a long time,” said the champion, whose previous best achievement at the Super 300 level was finishing runner-up at the Australian Open 2022. “I think she wasn’t her best, but I’m grateful I could win. I tried to not make many mistakes and I tried to enjoy the game.
“This title means a lot because I’ve been waiting for a long time. I will work harder to get another title.”
Pusarla said she’d failed to get going in the final.
“It was not my day. My game was not up to the mark. I made too many unforced errors. On a positive note, I’m coming into a final after a long time and I need to be happy about that. There are a lot of things to learn from this match because I made errors and I gave her a lead from the start. I felt nothing was going well for me, so I was in a negative state of mind.
“Overall my strategy was wrong… it happens at times but it’s important to go back and prepare and come back stronger.”
Other first-time titlists at the Super 300 level were Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra BØje, who beat Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti 22-20 21-18 after trailing 13-17 in the first game and saving two game points.
Christiansen admitted they’d “stolen” the opening game.
“We struggled a bit in the start, they were playing sharp,” said Christiansen. “They were good when they were serving and receiving and we were struggling a bit, and we stole the first game a bit, and we got our momentum going. We were strongest at the end and kept our calm.
“The key moment was to stay in it and keep our defence going and return his (Jordan’s) smashes and try to stay in it and it’s all about coming forward in the court.
“It means a lot. We’ve won two Super 100 tournaments and we’ve been in a Super 300 final; this is the first time we are winning a Super 300 together, so we are extremely happy. This is our biggest title so far so we are extremely happy and proud about that.”
His partner added: “We are quite proud of our mental stage, that we kept our mind in the game all the time and stealing the first game. This title will help us believe in our game, what we’re practising on, that it’s working in the tournament.”