5 au 10 mars 2024
10 Mar 2024

Look out for the winners

On this Sunday, the finals took place at the adidas arena, offering the public an extraordinary spectacle featuring the world's best badminton players.

Women's singles: AN Se Young regains her crown

In the French Open final, Akane YAMAGUCHI (n°4, Japan) and AN Se Young (n°1, Korea) faced off for the 22nd time in a match that has now become a classic on the circuit. Following yesterday’s sumptuous semi-finals, expectations were high and the two stars did not disappoint. The first set was decided in the final moments, with the Japanese managing to push AN Se Young to the limit and take control of the road to the title. Accustomed to great moments, the world No.1 never gave up, ramping up the intensity of the match to physically implode her great rival. Exhausted by her long week, Yamaguchi couldn’t hold any longer and saw her chances of a third title in Paris slip away (21/18 13/21 10/21). AN Se Young wins for the second time after the 2019 edition, won at just 17 years of age, and confirms her status as the world's best player.

AN Se Young: "I'm really happy with this victory in this Olympic arena. I was under a lot of pressure to win this competition, but I managed to do it and I'm very happy. [...] Now I'm going to try and get some rest, take some time to breathe, but I'm still focused on the All England, which I'll be heading for tomorrow."

Mixed doubles: Amazing FENG and HUANG   

Reigning Olympic mixed doubles champion HUANG Dong Ping is now paired with FENG Yan Zhe to face reigning world champions SEO Seung Jae/CHAE Yu Jung (n°3, Korea) in the Yonex French Open final. The Chinese pair (n°4) came out on top in the first set after a tough start, thanks to their better control of the first three racket shots, which enabled them to gain the upper hand in the exchange. HUANG gave the Koreans a hard time on serve, with countless variations that prevented SEO and CHAE from getting into the rhythm. They won the first set by a comfortable margin, then followed up with an almost identical performance in the second for their first victory in Paris (21/16 21/16). The rising pair of Chinese mixed doubles win their first title of 2024 after a difficult start of the year. 

HUANG Dong Ping: "We are very happy to have won the game today. We had some difficulties but our performance today was very good. It is the Olympic venue so it does mean a lot to me. Talking about the Olympics, I don’t think too much about the result, I need to prepare myself first. Changing partner was a challenge for me and it was exciting as well “ 

Women's doubles: fantastic victory for CHEN and JIA  

To conclude the duel between China and Japan in the women's doubles draw, Nami MATSUYAMA and Chiharu SHIDA (n°6, Japan) challenged world n°1 CHEN Qing Chen/JIA Yi Fan (China), who had already won in Paris in 2016.  In their favorite position, with CHEN at the net and JIA attacking from the baseline, the Chinese were unchallenged in the first set: 21/12. The situation remained unchanged at the start of the second one, with the 2016 winners leading the way (10/4). The Japanese came back little by little thanks to their defense and won the second set. Continuing their momentum, MATSUYAMA and SHIDA extended their lead at the start of the final act and ended up with 4 match points. For a final twist, the Olympic runners-up come back to level the match and win 24/22. Epic.  

JIA Yi Fan “It was a very tough match and we fought hard. I'm very happy that we were able to win. [At 16/20 in the last set] We didn't want to lose this match. We believed in our chances of winning until the last point." 

Men's singles: SHI Yu Qi made it 

Despite the many surprises in the men's singles draw, the final pitted the reigning World Champion against the world n°2. SHI Yu Qi (China) got off to a flying start against the young Kunlavut VITIDSARN (n°8, Thailand). More powerful, he moved his opponent to the four corners of the court to exhaust him and take the lead. Despite a surgical execution, it wasn't enough to keep the Thai at distance, as he excels in court coverage. The first set ended in China's favor by the slimmest of margins, sign that the battle was far from over. The pattern remained the same in the second set, with SHI Yu Qi racing ahead until he flew away to gain seven match points. In front of a stunned crowd, VITIDSARN saved ... six of them before losing on a cross-court smash that gave him no chance (22/20 21/19). This is SHI Yu Qi's second title in 2024. 

SHI Yu Qi: "I managed to do what I wanted to do [...]. Of course, Kunlavut is World Champion and a very strong opponent [...]. But as I knew he was very strong, I needed good preparation if I wanted to be able to fight for the victory. Today I simply did my best [...]. I'm very happy to be on the podium here in France, as I was in 2016.” 

Men's doubles: RANKIREDDY and SHETTY too good 

The men doubles final, last match of the week, featured 3 former Yonex IFB winners. On one side, Satwiksairaj RANKIREDDY and Chirag SHETTY (No.1, India), winners of the 2022 edition, on the other LEE Jhe-Huei, winner of the 2017 edition with LEE Yang. This time, he is paired with YANG Po-Hsuan (n°16, Taipei). The crowd's favorites dominated in the first set, largely above their opponents from Taipei in all areas of the game. Despite a tense second set, they never wavered, winning 21/11 21/17 to claim their title back in Paris following their 2021 victory. Their iconic dance to celebrate the win was the perfect way to conclude this superb week of competition. 

Chirag SHETTY: "The key today was to be consistent. We knew they could have a real attacking game, and often you can get scared when you have to return really big smashes. (...) About the celebration, nothing was prepared. We had prepared a celebration for last year, but we lost (laughs). (...) The Olympic Games is the biggest event for any sportsman. Everyone wants to take part, including us. The venue is really beautiful, and we're really looking forward to coming back later this year.” 

All good things come with an end, so is the Yonex French Open after 5 tremendous finals. Next step for the players is the Yonex All England starting next tuesday.  

Credit : ON L’Agence | Legal Notice | Photo credit : ©FFBaD / BadmintonPhoto