Nozomi Okuhara, Kanta Tsuneyama win Thailand Open

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Nozomi Okuhara celebrates her Thailand Open victory. (photo: AFP)
Nozomi Okuhara celebrates her Thailand Open victory. (photo: AFP)

Bangkok: The No. 4 seed Japanese player Nozomi Okuhara went on the attack throughout the whole match against the No. 2 seed PV Sindhu of India in Sunday’s women’s singles final, beating the Indian player 21-15, 21-18 in 50 minutes.

Sindhu was clearly uncomfortable with Okuhara’s aggressive tactics in the final, making too many unforced errors and handed the first set to Okuhara in just 20 minutes.

Both players were toe-to-toe until 18-18 in the second set, before Okuhara continued to put pressure on Sindhu’s defense and forced Sindhu to commit unforced errors to eventually deny Sindhu the Thailand Open title.

The Thailand Open was Okuhara’s first title of the 2018 season. The victory allowed Okuhara to gain revenge for her 2018 All England quarter-final defeat to Sindhu on March 16, 2018.

“I am happy to win the Thailand Open and thanks for the support from the crowd,” said Okuhara after the match.

In men’s singles competition, World No. 15 Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia who has not lost a match since winning the Thailand Masters in January 2018 at Bangkok’s Nimibutr National Stadium, seemed not at his best due to the middle finger injury, losing the final to 22-year-old Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan 16-21, 21-13, 21-9.

Kanta Tsuneyama is the first Japanese to win the men’s singles title in the 34-year history of the tournament. (photo: AFP)
Kanta Tsuneyama is the first Japanese to win the men’s singles title in the 34-year history of the tournament. (photo: AFP)

Tsuneyama was quick in his returns and unleashed a lot of explosive smashes in the decider to win his first ever Thailand Open title in 58 minutes.

“After the Japanese team won silver in the Thomas Cup final in Bangkok two months ago, I am excited to come back here again to win my first Super 500 victory,” said Tsuneyama.

Earlier, Indonesian pair of Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu pulled off a huge upset in women’s doubles final when they beat the 2016 Olympic Games gold medalists Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi of Japan 21-12, 21-10 to win the women’s doubles crown.

In the men’s doubles final, a rematch of the 2018 Malaysia Open final two weeks ago, No. 1 seed Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda of Japan outlasted fellow countrymen Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe 21-17, 21-19 to take home their second title of the year.

England’s mixed doubles top seeds Chris Adcock/Gabby Adcock were below par as they made a barrage of unforced errors before going down to No. 8 seeds Hafiz Faizal/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia 21-12 21-12 in only 28 minutes. It was the first title for the Indonesian pair.

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