Photo credit: Badmintonthaitoday.com
The world number 2 in mixed double lost their previous four finals to the world number 1. The world number 1 didn’t play in Hong Kong so the world number had all chances to finally win the final, they played today.
Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping are number 2 on the world ranking. They were in the finals at Malaysia Open, the World Championships, Japan Open and China Open. All four times they lost to their compatriots, Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong who are solidly sitting on the number 1 spot on the world ranking. This week Zheng and Huang didn’t play so as Wang and Huang had reached the final at Hong Kong Open, today should be the day for the two Chinese.
There was a Japanese couple on court as well though; the All England winners Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino, ranked 5 in the world. They had never won against Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping though. The Chinese duo was leading 5-0 head-to-head before today’s final. All matches have been played in 2018 and ironically four of them were in the four tournaments where Wang and Huang lost the finals to Zheng and Huang.
There is always a first…
The sixth match should be the first though. For the Japanese, that is. In a fairly closely played mixed double final it was Watanabe and Higashino who proved stronger towards the end of each games. The Japanese took the Hong Kong Open title in straight games, leaving Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping frustrated that they yet again failed to win a final.
Top men’s doubles in the final
The men’s double final at Hong Kong Open was between two of the best pairs in the world. On one side we had the outstanding world number 1, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, and they were facing the runners-up from the World Championships, Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda. The Japanese are ranked 3 in the world and have won 4 of ten matches against the Indonesians.
Today there was a clear difference on the two pairs though. It was a final, which was played at a very high speed, but the Japanese made too many mistakes to put real pressure on the Indonesians. Maybe Gideon and Sukamuljo were also a bit extra on fire today because they wanted to revenge their defeat to the Japanese at the World Championships.
Eventually it turned out to be a quite easy win for Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo who took their 8th title of the year. After just 35 minutes the Indonesians had gotten their revenge in straight games and Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda had to settle with being runners-up in Hong Kong.
Results from all the finals at Hong Kong Open:
WD: Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota, JPN (1) vs. Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan, KOR (7) 21-18 21-17
WS: Nozomi Okuhara, JPN (7) vs. Ratchanok Intanon, THA (6) 21-19 24-22
MS: Son Wan Ho, KOR (6) vs. Kenta Nishimoto, JPN (8) 14-21 21-17 21-13
XD: Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino, JPN (7) vs. Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping, CHN (2) 21-18 21-14
MD: Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, INA (1) vs. Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, JPN (4) 21-13 21-12