The first match on court was an all-Korean affair between fourth seeds and Australian Open 2018, Champions Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yu Jung, and their fellow compatriots Kim Won Ho and Jeong Na Eun. The pairs met for the first time on the HSBC BWF World Tour just one month ago at the Denmark Open 2022 presented by VCITOR. While that match was closer (21-18 21-19), Seo and Chae enjoyed victory once again today, but in a much more compelling fashion. Throughout the game, Chae was refusing to give up the net which complimented Seo’s incredible speed and agility around the rearcourt to put forward a dominant attack and race to the top of podium after 41 minutes.
- Seo Seung Jae/Chae Yu Jung (KOR) vs Kim Won Ho/Jeong Na Eun (KOR) 21-9 21-17
“It’s our second time winning here at the Australian Open, we like the good weather and good vibes here so we always feel a positive vibe”, says Seo Seung Jae.
“We used a different kind of strategy throughout this tournament. We usually play with some light strokes, but in this competition we used a lot of variation, moving in front of the net and adding a lot of pressure. I try my best to make the way for him”, says Chae.
Chinese sixth seeds Zhang and Zheng were chasing their first title together as a pair, while the Aimsaard sisters from Thailand were aiming for back-to-back wins on the HSBC BWF World Tour following their victory at the HYLO Open 2022 last fortnight.
In both games, the Chinese duo typically had the upper hand, while the Thai pair staged a comeback too late. Zheng and Zhang’s patience was wearing thin as a 16-4 lead quickly turned into 18-10, with Zheng also attempting two rackets changes in the same rally towards the end of the match. While they may not have won that particular rally, it was only a matter of minutes before they ensured victory in two straight games.
- Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu (CHN) vs Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsaard (THA) 21-19 21-13
“In the first game we started to drive more and take more control of the game which is why we did better in that one. But in the second game, they changed to pattern of the game to drop which facilitated their smash which is why they won easier in the second game… In two weeks we will play our first World Tour Final which we didn’t expect this year so we will go out there and do our best”, says Nuntakarn Aimsaard
“We haven’t been to the finals a few times before, and our mentality makes us think too much about the results every time we go to the finals. And this time through this time, the process will be more important than the result, because we are trying some different methods or new things. But we are not very familiar with it when we try it, but let’s use it through the game, and hope that there will be a new change in this game”, says Zhang Shu Xian
“I think this year is an encouragement for us, because we were just matched, entered the finals, and won our first championship at the end of the year. I think it is also an encouragement for us, but we still have to find a lot of problems, so Let’s solve it through the game, I hope we will get better and better”, Zheng Yu
The women’s singles final was another one-sided affair as the champion, An Se Young, won in two straight games. The top seed became the only player to live up to her seeding, extending her head-to-head tally against Indonesia’s Greogria Tunjung to 3-0 following today’s victory. For the Korean, it was a chance to establish her dominance in Oceania, being the reigning New Zealand Open Champion (from 2019) and now the SATHIO GROUP Australian Badminton Open Champion.
Meanwhile, the prestigious occasion is a memorable one for Greogria Tunjung. Since winning the BWF World Junior Championships 2017, she has struggled to reach the final stages of the HSBC BWF World Tour tournaments, making this one her first. She managed to cause some damage along the way, defeating the seventh seed from China (Han Yue) yesterday, possibly indicating an imminent rise to the occassion.
- An Se Young (KOR) vs Gregoria Mariska Tunjung (INA) 21-17 21-9
“I’m happy to win in both Australia and New Zealand – there is a good vibe around here. In the first match I focussed on fighting for the chance, but the coaches told me to add more pressure on the sides which worked better in the second. I think it’s hard to find my confidence without this experience and I feel really great for winning this tournament”, says An Se Young
“I am grateful that I am able to reach this level and I will improve myself for future tournaments to come. An Se Young is an outstanding player with outstanding shots. She is younger than me so I will take that lesson to improve myself in case I play An Se Young again. In the second game, she pressured me more than the first game so it was hard for me to come back in the second”, says Gregoria Mariska Tunjung
The men’s singles final was an all-Chinese affair, featuring the 2018 Champion Lu Guang Zu and fellow compatriot, Shi Yu Qi. The pair have met three times on the HSBC BWF World Tour to date, with Shi Yu Qi holding a favourable 2-1 record before today’s match. Both players had surpassed the top two seeds en route to the final and the tiring matches seemed to play in role in the deciding game as Lu was clearly struggling to keep up with the pace set by Shi Yu Qi, who won the deciding game with a highly convincing 21-5 victory.
- Shi Yu Qi (CHN) vs Lu Guang Zu (CHN) 21-19 18-21 21-5
“I am feeling exhausted but luckily I am very happy I can win the game today, the process was very important. In the first two games, I could tell that I wasn’t fully recovered from yesterday’s game, but in the third I actually felt more energetic and my footwork was much better so that’s how I won the game”, says Shi Yu Qi
“In 2018, I won my first World Tour title here so that was early on in my career. Since then, I have been making progress, but I wasn’t able to get another one, but this year I have qualified for the World Tour Finals so I will keep fighting. In the third game, I felt very fatigues and a lot of tightness so I was making a lot of mistakes and I couldn’t prevent Shi Yu Qi from keeping up a good attack”, says Lu Guang Zu
Finally, the men’s doubles ensured the evening closed in spectacular style. The sixth seeded Malaysians and Chinese eighth seeds have met twice on the HSBC BWF World Tour before, enjoying one victory each.
Only one month ago, Malaysia’s Ong and Teo tasted success in two straight games. However, the SATHIO GROUP Australian Badminton Open 2022 told a different story. With fast and flat exchanges from the outset, China’s Liu and Ou displayed the most prominent counter-attack, outmaneuvering their opponents with more success to ensure the crowd could witness the best of cross-court dives and deception. Making a quick recovery from 14-11 down in the second, the Chinese eventually regained control and reigned victorious on their second time of asking.
- Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi (CHN) vs Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi (MAS) 21-16 22-20
“Firstly, we are very happy with our game and the result today. In fact, all of our games including our win over the Olympic champions from Chinese Taipei earlier in the week. Our opponents today are very strong. We can’t say that we have a very big advantage on the court. We can all get anxious about these games, so for us it is great encouragement to say the least. We’re sticking to what we’ve done, and we’ve done it so it’s paid off”, says Liu Yu Chen
View all photo highlights from the tournament on Badminton Oceania’s Facebook page.
A breakdown of all results and statistics are available to view on Tournament Software.
Footage from the SATHIO GROUP Australian Badminton Open 2022 is available to watch on the BWF TV YouTube Channel – click here to watch.