Canada Open: Final Finally ‘Feels Right’

Frederik Sogaard was overcome by emotion after he and Rasmus Kjaer made the YONEX Canada Open 2023 final.

The world No.38 Danes outlasted Japanese third seeds Akira Koga/Taichi Saito 21-17 14-21 21-19 at the Markin-MacPhail Centre to qualify for the first HSBC BWF World Tour title match of their 15-month partnership.

Asked what the achievement meant, Sogaard, the 2015 World Junior Championships silver medallist with Joel Eipe, took a deep breath to compose himself before replying: “For me, a bit emotional. It’s been a long journey for Rasmus and me. To be here, we had to play a lot of smaller tournaments. This is only our third Super 500, it means a lot.”

Sogaard and Kjaer came together in March 2022, with their debut at the German Open ending in the first round. They won their very next tournament – the Polish Open – before bagging top honours at the lower-tier Dutch, Welsh and Canadian Internationals. This year, they took the Denmark Masters.

It was not until January that they played their first Super 500 tournament after clearing the Indonesia Masters qualification stage. Their second at the Thailand Open in May was also a first-round exit at the hands of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty. In Jakarta, they lost to Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi.

“We did well in some of the smaller tournaments. Then we had chances on the World Tour, where we lost close matches to some of the best pairs. We felt we just needed that one breakthrough, and we got it in the second round against (fourth seeds) Lu (Ching Yao) and Yang (Po Han). That gave us that little boost of confidence,” said Kjaer.

“It feels right to finally be in a big final. We’ve been working hard to get here.”

Victory in the final against compatriots Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, who beat Olympic champions Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin 21-15 21-14, will push Kjaer/Sogaard towards their main goal.

“For us, ranking is important. We are trying to break into the top 32, we want to play at the biggest tournaments,” said Kjaer.

Results (Semifinals)

Order of play (Finals)

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