French Open Badminton: Akane Yamaguchi and Chen Long take the titles in singles
Akane Yamaguchi of Japan reversed the result of last year's women's singles final and beat the World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei on the last day of the 2018 French Open, a Super 750 BWF World Tour event in Paris. The former World No.1 took the revenge of last year's loss by a 22-20, 17-21, 21-13 win in an hour-and-eight-minute-long match, and won the second title of the day for Japan.
Yamaguchi took the 11-8 lead in the opening game till the mid-game interval. Tai Tzu Ying tried to close the gap and saved a game point but Yamaguchi took the first game by 22-20. In the second game also, Yamaguchi had the lead till the mid-game interval but the Asian Games gold medallist took the game by 21-17 to take the match into the third and deciding game.
Again Yamaguchi maintained the lead by 11-8 and 15-9 in the third game. Tai Tzu Ying tried to bounce back but errors through her racket and Yamaguchi's great retrieving abilities and attacking game left no options for her to come back into the match. Eventually, Yamaguchi took the title by 21-13 in the last game.
Two-time world champion and reigning Olympic champion Chen Long won the third title for China and his 30th career title after beating his team compatriot and 2016 winner Shi Yuqi by 21-17,21-19 in the last match of the 2018 French Open finals.
Chen Long took the lead by 11-8 in the opening game and extended it to 17-10. Thereafter Shi Yuqi tried to fight back but the former World No. 1 finished the game by 21-17. In the second game, the former champion Shi Yuqi took a narrow lead by 11-10, but Chen Long sealed the match by 21-19 in 47 minutes.
Earlier in the doubles section, China's world champion mixed doubles pair Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong beat Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yujung of Korea 21-19, 21-14 in 37 minutes. They won their 8th title of the year.
Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong of China beat the World No. 1s Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon of Indonesia 23-21, 8-21, 21-17 in 52 minutes in men's doubles and Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara of Japan won the women's doubles title after beating the Stoeva sisters of Bulgaria by 21-14, 21-19 in 43 minutes.
All the Indian singles players, including Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, lost before the semi-final stage while the men's doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost in the semi-finals to World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia.
All the players will now look forward to the upcoming Asian swing again at the last stage of the BWF World Tour events to qualify for the World Tour Finals to be held in Guangzhou in China, and end of the year on a better side.