Monday, 22 Jul 2024

World Champions Rally from Defeat to Secure a Thrilling Victory

On Day 2 of the YONEX All England Badminton Championships, world champions Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi showcased their resilience as they battled back from a match point down to secure a thrilling victory against home favorites Sean Vendy and Ben Lane.

The Japanese duo, seeded third in the tournament, started strong and comfortably won the opening game. However, Lane and Vendy, buoyed by the passionate home crowd at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham, fought back and took control of the match. They held a commanding lead of 18-14 in the deciding game, even reaching match point at 20-19.

In a classic encounter that had spectators on the edge of their seats, Hoki and Kobayashi summoned all their strength and skill to turn the tide. They fought back relentlessly, eventually converting their own match point and emerging victorious with a final score of 21-11, 19-21, 24-22.

This thrilling match marked one of three losses for the English contingent on that day, bringing an end to their campaign in the tournament. Mixed doubles pair Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith fell to Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo, while women’s doubles pair Chloe Birch and Jess Pugh also suffered defeat.

Meanwhile, top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo faced a scare but managed to secure their spot in the quarterfinals. They rallied back after losing the first game to Akira Koga and Taichi Sato, ultimately sealing a hard-fought 15-21, 21-18, 21-18 victory.

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Reflecting on their performance, Gideon expressed their satisfaction with the win and acknowledged the strong challenge posed by their opponents. He emphasized their commitment to always giving their best and striving for victory in every match.

The second seeds, Mohammed Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, also demonstrated their fighting spirit as they rallied to defeat Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan with a score of 19-21, 21-17, 21-14.

Indonesian pairings had a particularly strong showing on that day. Mohammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana knocked out eighth seeds Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, while Bagas Maulana and Muhammad Fikri also emerged victorious.

In the men’s singles, Lakshya Sen continued his impressive form by causing an upset against third seed Anders Antonsen. Sen, who had defeated Viktor Axelsen at the German Open the previous week, clinched the first game 21-16. Antonsen fought back in the second game, but Sen remained composed and secured a 21-16, 21-18 win.

Viktor Axelsen, aiming to reach his fourth straight final in Birmingham, delivered a solid performance in his match against Mark Caljouw, winning with a score of 21-14, 21-13. He advanced to face Anthony Ginting, the fifth seed, who narrowly defeated Srikanth Kidambi with a score of 21-19 in the deciding game.

Another highlight of the day was the intense clash between women’s singles top seed Tai Tzu Ying and Busanan Ongbamrungphan. In a closely contested match, Tzu Ying managed to secure a 21-19, 22-20 victory, saving a game point in the process. Her next challenge would be defending champion and fifth seed Nozomi Okuhara in the quarterfinals.

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The tournament also saw second seed Akane Yamaguchi overcoming a tough test against former world number one Saina Nehwal. Yamaguchi eventually prevailed with a score of 21-14, 17-21, 21-17 on Nehwal’s birthday. She now prepares to face compatriot Sayaka Takahashi in the next round.

Other results from the day included third seed Chen Yu Fei and eighth seed He Bing Jiao setting up an all-Chinese quarterfinal, and fourth seed An Seyoung continuing her campaign with a straight games victory over Kirsty Gilmour.

In the women’s doubles, Korean pair Na Eun Jeong and Hye Jeong Kim secured a spot in the quarterfinals with a hard-fought three-game victory over Supissara Paewsampran and Puttita Supajirakul. Third seeds Soyeong Kim and Heeyong Kong also fought back after losing the first game to beat Canadian duo Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai. However, there was disappointment for sixth seeds and reigning Olympic champions Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu, as Rahayu’s leg injury forced them to retire despite winning the first game. Indian pair Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Pullela advanced to the quarterfinals as a result.

In the mixed doubles, Olympic champions Yi Lyu Wang and Dong Ping Huang continued their campaign with a comfortable win over Adam Hall and Julie MacPherson.

The YONEX All England Badminton Championships return to the Utilita Arena Birmingham from March 16th to March 20th, 2022. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the best players from around the world compete. Secure your tickets today and be part of the excitement.