Singapore Open: Hoki/Kobayashi’s ‘Stubbornness’ Vindicated

Going title-less a whole year proved challenging but the newly-crowned Singapore Open 2023 men’s doubles winners Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi have been rewarded for sticking to their guns.

The 2021 world champions found success hard to come by after winning the 2022 Malaysia Open in July and went through a rocky patch before the 21-13 21-18 victory over Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang at the Singapore Indoor Stadium yesterday ended their year-long heartache.

Reflecting on their journey, Kobayashi said: “Although it’s been a rough road, we never gave up. We adopted a positive attitude in all our matches. We stayed stubborn, we believed if we continued the same approach, we were bound to win eventually.”

Hoki added: “We’ve been waiting for this a long time. We are relieved but we take this as a form of motivation, that we can be among the Olympic medal contenders.”

Before their slump, Hoki/Kobayashi had established themselves as the pair to beat in 2021, which culminated in a first world title and their most successful season. The back-to-back semifinal showings at the Badminton Asia Championships and Malaysia Masters last month gave Hoki hope of form revival.

“Although we haven’t won for a while, we’ve been hitting the semifinals recently. We got confidence from there we weren’t too far off the track and that we could achieve something.

“We hope to take this new-found confidence into the Indonesia Open and the rest of the season.”

Hoki highlighted stiff competition as the reason why winning had become doubly hard in their discipline. The 27-year-old is convinced no pair are likely to dominate for the time being.

“It’s become hard to tell who the next winners will be. In recent times, it seems every pair is on the same level,” he said. “But we hope this triumph will be the impetus for us to make it back to the top.”

Results (Finals)


“A lot of people ask me if I’ve forgotten how to lose. I was happy to hear such a question because I take it as a compliment. I still lost some matches this year but those losses were my best lessons.”An Se Young after winning her fifth title of the season

“He’s a magician on court. When he has those days, you just keep fighting and hope he’d lose momentum at some point. But sometimes you feel like it’s really up to him whether he wants to win or lose when he’s playing that well.”Anders Antonsen paying tribute to Anthony Sinisuka Ginting

“Learn more, train more, eat less.”Chen Qing Chen on how she and Jia Yi Fan can stay ahead of competition

Ginting in his element.

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