Singapore Open: ‘Makes No Sense I’m Playing This Well’

Anders Antonsen has surprised even himself by progressing to the Singapore Open 2023 semifinals at his first tournament back from injury.

The Dane, struggling with injuries for the last one year, has had to skip a few important tournaments since May 2022.

He missed the final four months of last season but returned at January’s Malaysia Open. His fortunes then looked to be improving when he made back-to-back semifinals at the All England and Spain Masters but fitness issues again forced him to pull out of the Malaysia Masters and Thailand Open.

However, it’s been an instant revival at his first tournament in two months for the 26-year-old; he cleared the quarterfinal stage yesterday with a 12-21 21-13 21-11 win over young Chinese Taipei shuttler Chia Hao Lee. Antonsen defeated Toma Junior Popov and Lee’s fifth-seeded compatriot Chou Tien Chen in the previous rounds.

“It makes no sense really that I’m playing this well because I’m coming straight from an injury,” Antonsen admitted after the match. “I haven’t played a single game since my last tournament (April’s Orleans Masters). It’s incredible I’m in the semifinals. I cannot believe it to be honest.”

Japanese Kodai Naraoka, who claimed a maiden 21-14 21-16 win in five meetings with Shi Yu Qi, will provide opposition in the last four. Antonsen won their only duel in the second round of Naraoka’s home event, the Japan Open, in September.

Now that he’s got this far, Antonsen, whose intermittent absence from the circuit has sent him tumbling from world No.2 to No.22, doesn’t want to rest on his laurels.

“I’m satisfied but let’s try to reach the final,” he said. “I definitely know I’m a very good player when I’m at my best. The level is there, I just need consistency in tournaments and training. Hopefully I’ll get that soon.”

Results (Quarterfinals)

Order of play (Semifinals)


“We lost to them at the All England. We reviewed our match at last year’s World Championships to see how we won.”Jia Yi Fan on how she and Chen Qing Chen prepared for Kim So Yeong/Kong Hee Yong

“We’ve faced them eight times, we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Our games are always tight. Sometimes they are lucky, sometimes we are. Actually, our styles are quite similar.”Daniel Marthin after losing to Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik

“I got good matches here, I learned a lot. With big points I can move to the top 32 and get my guaranteed spot at the important events. That means more matches at this level and more development for me.”Christo Popov

Chen and Jia entertaining fans after executing their revenge.

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