The last day of the OUE 2015 Singapore Open Badminton tournament saw the emergence of the underdogs. Beginning with Thursday’s annihilation of several men’s seeded players, the tournament continued with surprises until the very end on Sunday. Japanese Kento Momota won the men’s singles title beating Hong Kong’s Hu Yun, while China’s Sun Yu took the women singles crown by staging superb display against Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying. Both men’s and women’s matches were stretched to three games and ensured that the thrill lasted until the last shots were played. Before the singles final on Sunday, the show of the dark horses had begun with the women’s doubles finals in which the youthful Chinese pair Ou Dongni/Yu Xiaohan defeated India Open winners Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi of Japan in a one-sided contest. The last final of the day was no less intriguing, in which the men’s doubles pair from Indonesia, Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi outlasted the vastly experienced Chinese combo of Zhang Nan/Fu Haifeng in three games. In sharp contrast to these four finals, the walk-over victory of mixed doubles Chinese pair of Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei over their compatriots Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong could only be termed as an anti-climax.
In the men’s singles final, Japanese left-hander Kento Momota continued with his great show in the tournament. Even Hu Yun had a great tournament and he shocked everybody by beating Chen Long in the second round. In the semifinal too, India’s Parupalli Kashyap gave him a tough fight. Kashyap had taken the first game from Hu but the Hong Kong star did not relent. After Kashyap began by winning at 22-20, Hu shot past the Indians with a marvelous show in the next two games and ensured his entry to the final in one hour with a 20-22, 21-11, 21-14 victory. On the other hand, Momota had a relatively easier passage to his first World Superseries final as he defeated Indonesia’s defending champion Simon Santoso 21-10 21-13. Against Hu, Momota won the first game 21-17 but Hu came back strongly in the second game to force a decider. The fight continued in the final game and at one time the score read 15-all. The match appeared equally poised as neither player looked like yielding the ground. Then the Japanese raised his game and won each of the next six rallies to take the match and the championship.
In the women’s singles final, Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying almost had the dramatic match in her bag, when she held three match points in the third game over Sun Yu. But the Chinese held up nicely and denied the Taiwanese any pleasure. After easily taking the first game 21-13, Sun Yu couldn’t finish the victory in the second as Tai fought hard and took the second game 21-19. In the third game, Tai led most of the time and stood on the verge of championship. However, the luck deserted her at crucial points and she couldn’t convert the championship points that she held. Sun Yu on the other hand, won five straight points to finish as 2015 champion with a 72 minute 21-13, 19-21, 22-20 victory.
In the women’s doubles final, the Japanese top seeds and India Open winners Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi succumbed against the young Chinese pair of Ou Dongni/Yu Xiaohan. The Japanese had progressed to the final with victories over two Chinese pairs in their earlier rounds. But they found the Chinese combination too hard to handle in going down 17-21, 16-21. The men’s doubles crown was won by Indonesia’s Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi, who defeated the experienced Chinese pair of Zhang Nan/Fu Haifeng 21-15, 11-21, 21-14. China picked up their third title of the tournament by default as the top seeded mixed doubles pair of Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei had a walk-over victory over compatriots Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong.
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