BIRMINGHAM: Japan were the big winners of the German Open with women’s singles shuttler Sayaka Takahashi pulling off the biggest upset.
Sayaka who is currently the top-ranked Japanese woman at No. 13 in the world, proved her mettle as as she dumped top seed and world No. 5 Sung Ji-hyun of South Korea for the title in Mulheim.
Sayaka won the closely contested final 21-17, 8-21, 21-12 in 53 minutes.
Women’s doubles pair Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi also lived up to their top billing as they overcame the challenge of Jung Kyung-eun-Kim Ha-na.
Misaka-Ayaka who made the final of the Malaysian Open last month, edged the second-seeded Koreans 23-21, 24-22.
The world No. 4’s good form will certainly boost their chances ahead of the All-England, which starts Tuesday, as they seek a first Super Series title.
In the all-Japanese men’s doubles final, Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda turned the tables on world No. 3 and top seeds Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa for a 21-19, 14-21, 21-14 win.
In the men’s singles, 34-year-old Arvind Bhat of India completed a sensational week after beating Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in the final.
Arvind who had beaten third seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong and 14th seed Viktor Axelsen en route to the final, won 24-22, 19-21, 21-11.
Scottish pair Robert Blair-Imogen Bankier however denied an Asian clean sweep as they rose to the occasion to beat third seeds Ko Sung-hyun-Kim Ha-na 21-15, 21-18 in the mixed doubles final.