French Open: ‘Badminton is a Mental Game’

“Finally, I’m through to a quarterfinal,” were the ecstatic words of world No.6 Jonatan Christie after his win over Lin Chun-Yi marked a turning point in his recent encounters with Chinese Taipei shuttlers.

Christie won 21-14 7-21 21-11 after losing in the Round of 32 at the Asian Games and Denmark Open to Chou Tien Chen. In the opening game, the Indonesian played with a relaxed style and genuine enjoyment, but Lin changed his strategy in the second, putting the world No.6 on the defensive.

“Losing in the first round in Denmark last week was annoying,” Christie admitted. “I had to play aggressively in the decider. The important thing about the 750s and the 1000s is mentality. It’s a mental game. If you get that part right, you can win.”

Christie carried a renewed sense of confidence and determination post-match.

“I still have a lot in the tank for the quarterfinals, and I don’t mind who I play, but if it’s Kodai Naraoka, I can expect a long match,” he remarked with a smile.

Christie’s prediction might come true as the Japanese shuttler later beat Lee Cheuk Yiu 21-17 21-19. Their last encounter at the 2022 French Open saw Christie retire in the third game.

Liu/Tan Triumph Over World Champions

“We didn’t have the pressure,” said Tan Ning after she and partner Liu Sheng Shu defeated reigning world champions and top-seeded compatriots Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan 21-11 9-21 21-14 in 62 minutes.

“I know they are world No.1s, but we took it easy and tried to execute our game plan as much as possible.”

“We didn’t come into the tournament with a goal but we are happy to make it to the quarterfinals. We take things match-by-match and that approach works well for us,” added Liu.

Liu and Tan won the Arctic Open two weeks ago.

Daddies Knock Out World No.1s

Badminton evergreens Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan defeated reigning champions and new world No.1s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty 25-23 19-21 21-19 in one of the tightest matches of the day.

“I made some easy mistakes but the best thing I could do was not think about them, because if I did, I’d make another,” laughed a happy Ahsan post-match.

The ‘Daddies’ take on Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi in what would be their fifth encounter. The Chinese lead their head-to-head 3-1.

Ahsan blocked out thoughts about his mistakes.

Results (Day 3)

Order of play (Quarterfinals)


“We’ve worked hard the past two years. This is our best result this year. Let’s keep going on.” – An elated Margot Lambert after she and Anne Tran knocked out Lee Yu Lim/Shin Seung Chan 23-21 14-21 21-13

“We were a little tired and tried to add in speed at the end of the match. What fuels us is tasty seafood. We’ve been enjoying the delicious food in France and it’s helped us recover quickly.” – Zheng Si Wei

“I still don’t think I’m a top player. Some tournaments I play well in and others, I’m out early. The top players keep the standard across all tournaments. For me, I’ve been up and down and that’s okay. I believe I can always continue to learn from my matches.” – World champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn eyes consistency

“I’ve had a difficult time with my injury and during my time away I missed being on court, I missed the tour. The important thing for me is getting as many points as I can for the Olympics. That’s the goal.” – Busanan Ongbamrungphan

Tran and Lambert celebrate sealing a quarterfinal spot.

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