Home2017Japan celebrate triple success in the Australian Open

Japan celebrate triple success in the Australian Open

Japanese players were the biggest winners in the Crown Group Australia Open Superseries – winning three of the five titles at stake in the USD750,000 event which ended in Sydney on Sunday.

Former world junior champion Nozomi Okuhara, who pulled off the biggest upset in the women's singles when she ousted reigning Olympics and world champion Carolina Marin of Spain in the first round, continued her winning ways when she defeated compatriot and third seed Akane Yamaguchi in the final.

The unseeded Okuhara, 22, however, was taken the full distance before the 12th ranked former All-England champion prevailed 21-12, 21-23, 21-17 in a nail-biting 67 minutes thriller.
For the record the men's singles title also went to an unseeded player – India's K. Srikanth – who defeated reigning Olympics and world champion Chen Long of China 22-20 21-16 in the final which lasted 46 minutes.

There was more to come from the Japanese players in the men's and women's doubles.
In the men's doubles third seeds Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda came off 21-17, 21-19 winners over professional pair Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia and Malaysia's Tan Boon Heong in 37 minutes. The defeat was a bitter blow for Hendra-Boon Heong who were playing in their first final since coming together this year.

For the champions it was a win that will stand in good stead for the next stop – the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in August.

"We are improving and we will now get to work towards the world championships. Winning three titles in Sydney is great for Japan badminton," said Kamura.

World No 1 and Olympic champions Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi played their best match this year when the top seeds crushed Denmark's Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen 21-10, 21-13 in 42 minutes in the women's doubles final. The Japanese had also beaten the Danes in the gold medal match in last year's Rio Olympics.

Indonesia's former All-England champions Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto were not able to keep their momentum after winning the first set 21-18 and lost the next two 14-21, 17-21 to China's top seeds Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen in a 58-minute mixed doubles final. 
 

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