Starting the Singapore Open 2023 final the underdogs, the world No.13 mixed pair’s high tempo unsettled second seeds Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino early on – the Japanese dropped the opener 21-14 in 15 minutes.
Their 22-20 second game win forced a decider and the rubber stayed close until 15-all, before Christiansen/Boje broke away to take the game 21-16.
A maiden Super 750 crown confirmed, Christiansen sunk to his knees in delirium. Upon picking himself up, he embraced his partner and happy tears were shed.
“We never thought we could win this tournament with all the biggest pairs here,” Christiansen said later. “We had a good week in Bangkok where we made the (Thailand Open) semifinals but to stand here as winners is just incredible.
“Two titles in two months after a long drought, this is our year. Perfect start to our Olympic qualifying with the results in Thailand and here. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into the Indonesia Open next week.”
Having lost seven of their eight meetings to Watanabe/Higashino, the Danes were desperate to get their tactics right. So they did, with quick, effective transitions to the front court.
“The hall can be quite tricky because of the drift, it’s not easy to use the backline. The more you come forward as a pair, the better the chances of winning,” said Christiansen.
Boje added: “We were aggressive at the front and that came out well. We are proud of this week.”
To arrive to this point, Christiansen/Boje have had to pick themselves up from a difficult start to the season, when they exited three of the first four tournaments in the opening round.
“There are so many strong mixed pairs and all can beat each other. You must be 100 per cent to win a match at the biggest tournaments. (When we lose) we just go home, practice harder and keep telling ourselves our time will come,” said Boje.
The victory also puts to rest the ghost of 2021, when Christiansen/Boje lost to the same duo at the French Open – their only other Super 750 title match.
“To meet them in another 750 final and win makes this even better. We’ve lost to them seven times so to get victory No.2 feels amazing,” said Christiansen.
With this success, Christiansen/Boje become the first ever Danish mixed pair to win a Super 750 event. They also end their nation’s 13-year wait for Singapore Open champions in the discipline – the last being Thomas Laybourn/Kamilla Rytter Juhl in 2010.