Odense: Thailand’s unseeded Ratchanok Intanon couldn’t hold back the tears after she ended an 18-month BWF title drought on Sunday by beating Japan’s No. 4 seed Akane Yamaguchi 14-21, 21-15, 21-19 in an inspirational 2017 Denmark Open women’s singles final.
Intanon was on the brink of defeat as she was trailed 16-19 in the decider. However, the former World Champion showed no sign of nerves, using her stylish strokes to beat Yamaguchi 21-19 in the third-set.
The Denmark Open was Intanon’s first title since winning the Singapore Open in April 2016. For Intanon and the Thai people, the long-awaited victory carried extra meaning because this October marked the first anniversary of the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.
“I am so grateful for winning the title today. This month is really important for the Thai people, I feel like I have to win for my king. That’s why I was so emotional,” said Intanon after the final as she dedicated her victory to her king in front of the crowd inside the Odense Sports Hall.
Intanon took home $56,250 USD while Yamaguchi pocketed $28,500 USD.
Last year, the Denmark Open men’s singles champion Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk stood on the podium during the medal ceremony by carrying a photo of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
In women’s doubles, Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan of Korea outlasted No. 6 seeds Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto 21-13, 21-16 to win the $59,250 USD pay check.
Meanwhile, No. 8 seeds mixed doubles pair Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong saved 4 match points in the decider against No. 1 seeds Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen of China, coming back from behind to beat the top seeds 24-22, 19-21, 23-21.