(Photo: Badmintonphoto/ Lucas Noyon
Zhang picks up second title
Date: 11/5/2023 7:30 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Denmark’s Line Højmark Kjaersfeldt was not able to stop the in-form Beiwen Zhang from doubling her 2023 title haul in a three-game battle at the HYLO Open.

USA’s Zhang, who has trained at Badminton Europe’s Centre of Excellence in Denmark, waited five years before winning another World Tour title when victorious in Australia in August. Today at the HYLO Open she was able to add another.

Kjaersfeldt bounced back well after losing the opening game, capitilising on lapses in concentration from the American, forcing the decider. Zhang was able to tidy up her game and take her chances to win the match 21-18, 16-21, 21-16. 

Reigning champions step aside
Starting brightly, the Indonesians Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto/ Lisa Ayu Kusumawati took the initiative towards retaining the title they won last year. However, Tang Chun Man/ Tse Ying Suet were determined to turn it around after 2023 final losses at the French and Hong Kong Open. 

It was third time lucky as they found their groove to win 15-21, 21-15, 21-14. 

Chou returns to take title
Chou Tien Chen was a beaten finalist at the HYLO Open last year and returned this year to make amends. Chou’s route to the final was a grueling one, almost four hours of court time. 

Lee Cheuk Yiu stole the opener and tested Chou’s resilience with his attacking play. Taking it to a third, Chou powered away with his first title of 2023, winning 21-23, 21-17, 21-10. 

Olympic gold outmuscled
There was despair in the women’s doubles for Indonesia. After winning the opening game, Olympic gold winner Apriyani Rahayu landed on her ankle awkwardly when executing a kill at the net. Her partner Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti gave her a knowing hug when it was clear she could not continue. 

Zhang Shu Xian/ Zheng Yu were granted the title alongside the ever-smiling Indonesians.

In the men’s doubles, there was more disappointment for Olympic gold medallists. Lee Yang/ Wang Chi-Lin took on China’s Liu Yu Chen/ Ou Xuan Yi, who took the long way around to the final. 

Liu, who settled for silver in Tokyo, propelled his partner Ou Xuan Yi to find another level. This lead them to a robust victory and their fourth title together.

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