Five shuttlers will be talked about for a long time in the Hong Kong Open storytelling for ending their countries’ title-less spell in September 2023.
On finals day at the Hong Kong Coliseum today, Indonesians Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti set things in motion, with the come-from-behind 14-21 24-22 21-9 victory over Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan making them the first women’s doubles champions from Indonesia in the competition’s 41-year history.
The world No.8s saved one match point at 20-19 in the second game before stepping it up a notch in the third, quickly moving to 7-0 then 11-2 ahead at interval, to haul themselves back into the winners circle more than a year after acing the Singapore Open in July last year.
“We are relieved to have come through such a difficult contest,” said Rahayu. “We managed to keep our composure towards the end of the second game, and in the decider, once we opened up a healthy lead, we were able to relax and play with more confidence.”
The second longest drought of 38 years fell in the concluding clash, when Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen emulated Danish compatriots Jesper Helledie/Steen Fladberg’s 1985 win by outlasting Leo Rolly Carnando/Daniel Marthin 21-10 22-24 21-19.
Having waited two years for an HSBC BWF World Tour title, Astrup/ Rasmussen now have two in two months – the Canada Open in July being their first since the 2021 Swiss Open. The Danes also took the European Games gold a week earlier in Poland.
“It does make it extra special,” said Rasmussen about breaking Denmark’s duck. “We’ve had so many good pairs over the years so it’s always nice to have our names on the winners list. We hope to continue the Danish men’s doubles legacy for some time to come.”
Just before their triumph, Jonatan Christie became the first Indonesian since Budi Santoso in 1998 – and sixth overall – to top the men’s singles podium. Christie, runner-up to Viktor Axelsen at the Japan Open seven weeks ago, prevailed 12-21 22-20 21-18 in an 82-minute slugfest with Kenta Nishimoto.
“It was such a tough match. Kenta played well and never gave up but neither did I,” said Christie.
“When I arrived here, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to play as my physical condition wasn’t the best. But God had different plans and it’s something beyond my understanding. I thank God for this victory,” added the deeply spiritual world No.6.
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