French Open: Hong Kong China Mixed Pairs Impress

On the second day of the YONEX French Open 2023 in Rennes, the Glaz Arena witnessed remarkable upsets as two Hong Kong China mixed pairs triumphed against seeded opponents.

Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet faced No.3 seeds Feng Yan Zhe/Huang Dong Ping in a closely contested battle, winning 21-19 21-19.

Denmark Open winners last week, Feng/Huang seemed to be grappling with fatigue after two titles and three consecutive weeks on tour.

Tse revealed: “I think they are tired because they’ve played a lot of matches in the past few weeks. We liberated ourselves and just wanted to do our best and that paid off.”

“At the Denmark Open we lost in the first round, so we had more rest and time to prepare.” Tang added. “We hit them with a lot of speed, and our attacks were quicker. I don’t think we handled the court conditions that well, but we had more variations in our tactics.”

Tang and Tse in action.

In another electrifying showdown, their compatriots Lee Chun Hei Reginald/Ng Tsz Yau fought off a roaring crowd and sixth-seeded home hopes Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue 21-19 19-21 21-9.

Ng said: “We’ve played against them and we know Thom has a lot of speed, plus he’s strong. We tried to keep Delrue at the back.”

Lee emphasised the positive impact of their new coach and revamped training regime.

“It’s been great for us. We have more dynamic training, and you are seeing the results of our hard work, and we’ve built our mutual trust in one another,” he said.

Meanwhile, Arnaud Merkle, who almost left badminton early this year due to a hip injury, defeated Lakshya Sen 21-15 21-18.

“It’s my first ever French Open. It’s an amazing feeling to win, the crowd helped me so much,” said the Frenchman.

“He played some excellent attacking shots in the second game, but I stayed calm and took my chances at the right moments.

“My hip is better but I (initially) thought my career was over. That’s why I’m so emotional.

“It was really tough. I had a lot of work with my physio and team. I know each time I step on court it’s a new chance. I’ve worked hard to be back.”

Merkle emotional following his win.

Results (Day 2)

Order of play (Day 3)


“I’m happy I managed the match in two games. Kidambi is one of the toughest players and if he grew more confident in the match, I knew it would be really tricky. I tried to play my game with aggression.” – Toma Junior Popov on outclassing Kidambi Srikanth 21-17 21-15 for his first ever French Open win

“We live together, we play together. There are always learnings when you play your teammates. She has her match in the evening, so perhaps we won’t have dinner but if I see her at the hotel, I’d like to have breakfast together.” – Chen Yu Fei on potentially facing teammate Wang Zhi Yi in the next round

“We’ve tried to learn some French words. We know ‘bonjour’, ‘ca va’ and ‘merci’. It’s a nice language.” Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi on why they like France

“The moment I won, I was so happy. Before the match, I thought about a walkover as four tournaments in a row after the Asian Games takes its toll and my team have been concerned about my condition. I chose to play at least one game and see how I got on. Physically, I’m feeling great. All the fatigue is forgotten. I’m buzzing and running on adrenaline.” – A chirpy Lee Zii Jia after winning his first-ever French Open match, 21-15 21-16 against Weng Hong Yang

Lee running on adrenaline.

BWF World Tour News

Title Sponsor