Birmingham: Women’s singles top seed and defending champion Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan came from 19-20 in the first set to edge past the No. 2 seed Akane Yamaguchi 22-20 in a compelling first set match in the All England final on Sunday.
The first set victory kept Tai motivated and extremely dominant as she demolished Yamaguchi 21-13 in the second set and to win her second All England title after Yamaguchi failed to return the left net shots from Tai. Tai became the latest women’s singles shuttler after Xie Xingfang to be able to defend the All England women’s singles title.
Xie Xingfang, who is now Lin Dan’s wife, won three consecutive All England championships during the 2000’s, from 2005, 2006, and 2007.
“I really enjoyed playing here, and I am happy to be able to win the All England again,” said Tai.
Although Yamaguchi fell short in the women’s singles category, two other Japanese players did make All-England history.
Unseeded Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino pulled off a huge upset and became the first pair from Japan to ever to win the mixed doubles All England title.
Watanabe/Higashino defeated the strong favorites Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong 15-21, 22-20, 21-16 in 62 minutes to win the title.
The Japanese team’s mixed doubles coach Jeremy Gan, who resigned from the Badminton Association of Malaysia end of last year, was also grateful with Watanabe/Higashino’s performance.
“Watanabe and Arisa worked so hard in training for this victory,” said Gan.
“I must thank the Japan Badminton Association and their chief coach Park Joo Bong for giving me a chance to introduce my own program for the mixed doubles pairs,” added Gan.
In women’s doubles, last year’s runners-up Kamilla Rytter Juhl/Christinna Pedersen made their country proud to become the first women’s pair from Denmark to win the prestigious All England tournament since Karin Jørgensen/Ulla Strand had won it in 1965.
The No. 3 seeds Juhl/Pedersen outlasted No. 4 seeds Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota of Japan 21-19, 21-18 to win clinch the women’s doubles crown.