Nathan Tang opened his game with the same aggression that saw him past the first seed and reigning champion (Abhinav Manota) yesterday, to take on New Zealand’s single sensation Edward Lau.
Edward is the reigning junior champion (from 2019) and finished as runner up in the 2020 edition. This year, the seventh seed had to work hard for that final spot when taken to three games in encounters with Rémi Rossi and Oscar Guo. However, but it seemed as though he saved his best until last as he took it up a notch in his second game to seize the Open Championships title for the first time.
- Edward Lau (NZL) vs Nathan Tang (AUS) 21-18 21-10
“I actually had no answers against Edward [in the second game], it was super solid. He was calm under pressure, and I tried to play faster but I made too many errors as that’s not how I normally play. He was the better player today. ”, says Nathan
“I’m feeling very proud…I didn’t feel any pressure and made sure I was able to play my game. This is definitely a big confidence booster”, says Edward
In an exact repeat of the 2018 and 2020 final, the top two seeds (Wendy Chen and Louisa Ma) met in today’s match.
Tokyo 2020 Olympian, Wendy Chen, has been in impressive form all week, barely letting her opponents into double figures. However in today’s final, she had to scramble harder to compete with the second seed Louisa Ma. In both games, Louisa made her greatest comebacks towards the end, but it proved too little too late, allowing Wendy to extend her historic run of women’s singles titles to an elusive seventh.
- Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen (AUS)[1 vs Louisa Ma (AUS) 21-17 21-18
“I had to go out and work really hard to win the points and get the shuttle back and create opportunities, but that’s a difficult thing to do when playing against players like Wendy ”, says Louisa
“It’s fantastic. I was nervous going in and playing against my teammate, but I was happy to just be able to play my game… Louisa played really well, I had a bit of a problem as she was closing in towards the end of the matches because I was just thinking that this is the moment, but I had to go back and just take it point by point”, says Wendy
New Zealand’s Abhinav Manota was able to avenge his men’s singles loss in yesterday’s quarterfinals to defend his men’s doubles title this year, although with new partner Jack Wang.
The first half of the first game had the audience sitting on the edge of their seat as both pairs started strong until the new Australian pairing led 11-10. The game continued to progress with a narrow margin until the New Zealander’s celebrated a run of six points from 15-14 to take the first game.
Both pairs raised their intensity in the second game to make for an entertaining match, but despite trailing 18-20 in the second game, Jack Wang held his nerve to produce sensational serves which set up a pathway to the gold medal. This also makes Jack the first player since 2011 to win the Junior and Open men’s doubles title, an accolade previously achieved by Sawan Serasinghe and Matthew Chau.
- Abhinav Manota/Jack Wang (NZL) vs Kenneth Zhe Hooi Choo/Ming Chuen Lim (AUS) 21-14 23-21
“In the second game, they stepped it up so we had to have a rethink and make a couple of tweaks to our gameplan. But towards the end, it was just the key to serve better and concentrate on the first three shots and that’s how we go the game. Jack did pretty well towards the end with his serves when we were 18-20 down to bring it back. I’m over the moon, it’s such a good feeling. In”, says Abhinav
“I’m very thankful and very happy, I don’t have many words to express that, I’m amazed. A lot of hard work has got into us a pair and that’s what helped both of us on court today”, says Jack
The first seeds lived up to their expectations in the women’s doubles and brought an end to Gronya’s campaign for a fifth consecutive title. Although this year, the Tokyo 2020 Olympian was competing with her new partner, Kaitlyn Ea.
The two pairs met less than two weeks ago at the Australian National Championships, where Gronya and Kaitlyn came out on top. However, Joyce and Sylvina mixed up their tactics and delivered an effective formation on court today, setting themselves up for some fabulous attacking play to take home their first gold medal.
- Joyce Choong/Sylvina Kurniawan (AUS) vs Kaitlyn Ea/Gronya Somerville (AUS) 21-19 21-15
“I’m feeling happy to win the finals, I wanted to cry. We just tried to play our game and do our best”, says Joyce
“This is our first time as a pair and for us to win this kind of competition, so I’m very happy”, says Sylvina
The highly anticipated mixed doubles did not disappoint, becoming the only final to go the distance over three games, only two minutes shy of the hour.
The first two and a half games came right down to the wire, becoming anyone’s for the taking. In the final game, Kenneth and Gronya led at the halfway change, returning to the court with a tenacious energy. A handful of mistakes from the New Zealanders and two long runs of points from the Australians ultimately led the two-time and reigning champion, Gronya Somerville, and her new partner (Kenneth Choo) to the gold medal.
- Kenneth Choo/Gronya Somerville (AUS) vs Oliver Leydon-Davis/Anona Pak (NZL) 21-18 19-21 21-12
“Since I lost the men’s doubles, I’ve been feeling a bit down but I was able to pick myself up in the mixed doubles and I’m glad it went well. It fired me up and made me want to win”, says Kenneth
“I’m really proud. With a new partner and a few months training, I think we did a good job and played really well…I think we know that we can get through tough matches and hold our nerve, so that’s really encouraging ”, says Gronya
All the matches from courts one and two at the VICTOR Oceania are now available to watch on the Badminton Oceania YouTube channel. Click here to watch.
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