Tuesday, June 6, 2023

All England Open: An Se Young ends 27-year Korean wait for singles champion, beats Chen Yufei in final

All England Open 2023: 21-year-old An Se Young became the first women’s singles player from South Korea since the legendary Bang soo-Hyun in 1996 to win the prestigious crown in Birmingham. She defeated Chen Yufei in 3 games in Sunday’s final.

By India Today Sports Desk: 21-year-old An Se Young ended South Korea’s 27-year-long wait for a singles champion at All England Open Badminton Championships on Sunday, March 19. An Se Young defeated reigning Olympic champion Chen Yufei of China in a three-game thriller 21-17, 10-21, 21-19 to win the women’s singles title in Birmingham.

An Se Young became the first women’s singles player since the legendary Bang soo-Hyun triumph in 1996. Lee Hyun-ll had come close to winning the men’s singles title in 2006 but he was beaten in straight games in the final by legendary Lin Dan.

An Se Young, seeded No. 2, came through a marathon against Tai Tzu Ying in the semi-final that extended to an hour and 22 minutes. An Se Young came back from behind to beat the former World No. 1 Tai 17-21, 21-19, 24-22 in a thriller that left the Birmingham crowd gasping for breath on Saturday.

The young Korean shuttler recovered in time for the final and was in control against Chen Yufei, the 2019 champion. Unlike last year’s final wherein she lost to Akane Yamaguchi after a slow start in straight games, An Se Young took the opening game 21-17 against Chen. However, the Olympic champion fought back strong and took the second game 21-10 to force a decider, much to the delight of the crowd.

It was anyone’s guess who would take the title at 17-17 in the decider, but An moved ahead and ended her country’s long wait by converting her third match point. An had a 2-8 head-to-head record against Chen before Sunday’s final but the young Korean stepped up at the biggest stage to clinch the biggest title of her nascent career.

An Se Young has been in terrific form in the new season, picking winning the India Open Super 750 and Indonesia Masters Super 500 tournaments in January. She has reached the final in all the tournaments this season as the young shuttler lays down the early marker in the pre-Olympic year.

There was more delight for Korea on Sunday In Birmingham. Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong won an all-Korean women’s doubles at the All England Open championships in Birmingham on Sunday, for their second Super 1000 title together and eighth overall.

The World Championship silver medalists simply blew away their compatriots, Baek Na Ha and Lee So Hee, 21-5, 21-12 in 43 minutes.

Baek and Lee, who won the German Open last week, had won both of their previous meetings, but were very much second best here. 

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