India Open: Busanan Shocks Yamaguchi

Busanan Ongbamrungphan’s Paris 2024 dreams received a big boost as she stunned Akane Yamaguchi 21-11 21-19 at the YONEX-SUNRISE India Open 2024 on Thursday.

Ongbamrungphan made a flying start and held off late nerves to seal the win in straight games, later explaining how her plan to control the game’s pace right from the start paid off.

“Akane is really good in her defensive game, and it’s hard playing her every time,” Busanan said. “She can get every shot I hit. I just tried to keep telling myself, ‘Yeah, you can do it, one more shot, keep it going’.”

Busanan is aware her shot at the Olympic Games rests on the two quotas for Thailand. “We have only two tickets for Olympics, so our four or five players have to try hard to get those two tickets,” she said. “I just try to be the best version of myself and just keep taking it one competition, one game at a time.”

While both Ongbamrungphan and Yamaguchi have been returning from lengthy injury spells, the Japanese former world champion identified she is still looking to regain her optimal movement.

“Physically, I still have a lot to learn,” Yamaguchi said. “I still have a long way to go in terms of the speed of my movements and the accuracy of my shots.”

Men’s singles also saw some hefty upsets. Koki Watanabe outpaced and eventually outdid world No.3 Li Shi Feng 21-14 13-21 21-9, crediting his speed of movement for his win.

“Because Li’s considerably taller, instead of matching him on strokes, I began to move quicker,” he said. “He has the reach, so if I smash, he will take it with one step. So, I was trying to put the shuttle into his body to make it difficult for him.”

Lee Cheuk Yiu claimed his second big win of the week by eliminating defending champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn 16-21 22-20 21-21.

“I lost some tough matches last year and it was more about improving myself to become stronger in close points,” Lee said. “I kept telling myself to not be sad even if I lose, but I shouldn’t be too happy when I win, so I have to balance it within.”

→ Results (Day 3)

→ Order of Play (Day 4)


“The fans are crazy, I like it! Probably India, the conditions of the courts, I have to say it’s better than Malaysia and Indonesia. Not so much wind, it’s just a little bit too slow. It’s not really good for old age, but it’s the easiest way.” Beiwen Zhang after losing to An Se Young 21-19 14-21 21-14

“We won last week, so we are confident. I was calm today. I didn’t sweat a lot, but I got a little dry, so I was a little nervous because of that. But I don’t think there’s any change in the conditions, it’s cold in Japan too. The important thing in doubles is combinations and the relationship. We must talk and communicate with each other. It’s the same for every Japanese pair. Yuta Watanabe after he and Arisa Higashino beat Mathias Thyrri and Amalie Magelund 21-14 21-15

Beiwen had an enjoyable outing in New Delhi.

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