Arctic Open: ‘I Never Lost Faith’

It took 15 months but Wang Zhi Yi never stopped believing she would return to a showpiece match at an HSBC BWF World Tour event.

When Wang stood next to Pusarla V. Sindhu on the podium as the Singapore Open runner-up in July last year, she could not have envisaged having to bide her time before contesting another final. Appearing in only one semifinal in 20 tournaments since, Wang would have been forgiven for allowing self-doubts to creep in. Instead, the 2022 Asian champion persevered.

At the Energia Arena on Saturday, fate had it that it would be Pusarla providing opposition again in the CLASH OF CLANS Arctic Open 2023 powered by YONEX semifinal. This time though, Wang was the victor.

“I was well prepared for this match. I watched Sindhu’s quarterfinal (win over Thuy Linh Nguyen) and some of her recent matches,” said Wang after her 21-12 11-21 21-7 win.

“This one year has been a learning process. Every match I lost or won, I learned something. That’s why I could make it today.

“No doubt it was a difficult period, I was disappointed I didn’t perform well but questioning myself wasn’t the solution. I reminded myself to do everything step by step and someday I’d make it.

“You must believe in yourself. Patience is one thing but one of the most important factors is faith. I never lost faith.”

For the crown in Finland, Wang takes on compatriot Han Yue, over whom she has a 4-1 record. Han won her semifinal against Pornpawee Chochuwong 24-22 21-19.

Wang lost her last two finals, the second being the 2022 Indonesia Open, on the World Tour. Her most recent title came in 2019 at the US Open. How desperate is the 23-year-old to ensure she doesn’t leave emptyhanded once more?

“We always say we don’t like playing teammates but a final is fine,” joked the world No.11.

“We both want the title and we know each other well. I hope Han and I can perform and entertain the audience.”

Results (Semifinals)

Order of play (Finals)


“I’m slowly coming back. I’ll have to take a lot of positives from this (week) and at the same time learn from my mistakes and return stronger.” – Pusarla

“Every tournament I learn about her, and she learns about me. We know how to make each other confident but we also understand when one just cannot perform. We support and give power to each other.”Jongkolphan Kititharakul on how she and Rawinda Prajongjai dealt with one year of not playing any final

“Maybe less pressure on us so we can enjoy the match and give our best.”Tee Kai Wun relieved Malaysia have secured the men’s singles title

The Thais’ last final was at the HYLO Open last year.

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