Latest Badminton News and Articles

Red hot Yamaguchi has feet firmly planted on the ground (pic)

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Category: Badminton News Published: 15 January 2014
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 4536

BUKIT JALIL: Akane Yamaguchi is only 16, but she is already being hailed as the next big star of women’s badminton.

She rose to prominence last year by becoming the youngest-ever Super Series winner when she triumphed in the Japan Open, before turning on the style to bag the world junior title.Akane Yamaguchi beat Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon 21-18, 23-25, 21-16 in the first round of the Maybank Malaysian Open on Jan 15, 2014.

And on Wednesday, the teenager showed exactly why she’s worth the hype with an incredible performance to stun reigning world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the first round of the Maybank Malaysian Open.

Yamaguchi showed maturity beyond her tender years and excellent court coverage to rack up a 21-18, 23-25, 21-16 win in 63 minutes at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.


“I’m really just glad to have won. I wasn’t thinking about going for an upset before the match,” said Yamaguchi with a big grin.

“I’m not very good with my offensive game, so my main focus was on my defence ... and I think I did that well.

“In the first game, I had a good win and that gave me the confidence but Ratchanok caught up in the second game and somehow I gave up there.

“Still, I’m glad I managed to pull through for the win.”

But Yamaguchi, who only turns 17 in June and is still studying in high school, believes that one win over a world champion doesn’t mean she is ready to step up just yet.

Rather, the Fukui native prefers to take it slowly and bide her time before thinking about the future.

“I’m definitely not ready to be a world champion yet ... even though I have just beaten one,” said Yamaguchi.

“There’s still a long way for me to go and I have to take it one game at time. I want to compete in more Super Series tournaments and consistently take on the higher-ranked and stronger players.

“For me, there is no immediate target yet ... I just need to keep on improving and to try my best. My next tournament is a national high school competition!”

The future certainly looks bright for Japan, especially with the target being the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

With Yamaguchi and 17-year-old Asian junior champion Aya Ohori in their ranks, the Japanese women are set to rock the world.

For now, Yamaguchi will have to focus on the Malaysian Open where she will meet compatriot Minatsu Mitani in the second round.

Meanwhile, tournament favourites Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan of China cruised into the second round.

Second seed Wang Shixian, however, nearly suffered an early exit before rallying to beat Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi 21-15, 16-21, 22-20.

  • No comments found

Facebook

Twitter

Google Plus

Replays: Chinese Taipei 2014

playbutton-2014-square-chinese-taipei-open
Watch Replays
  • Recent News
  • Popular
Chen Long #1 threat to Chong Wei at World Champs

Kuala Lumpur: Rashid Sidek, who was involved in a spat with

Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-seong ready for Asiad

Incheon: South Korea have never had any shortage of men's do

BAM reverses decision to exclude Rashid from World Champs

Kuala Lumpur: Facing heavy criticism by media, players and g

Lin Dan joins torch relay for 2014 Youth Olympics

Nanjing: Two times Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan was one of

Chan Peng Soon to split with Lai Pei Jing

Kuala Lumpur: Despite gradual progress towards stabilization

Koo Kien Keat’s last shot at World Champs

Kuala Lumpur: Badminton is a rigorous and physically demandi

Recommended Videos

  • 2014 Singapore Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 Hong Kong Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 Indonesia Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 World Championships - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 Japan Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2014 All England - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 India Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2014 Malaysia Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2014 India Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 World Superseries Finals - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 Denmark Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2014 Korea Open - Badminton Videos
Previous Next