Odense: How would Shi Yuqi fare after being away from international competition for about 10 months due to a one-year suspension by the Chinese Badminton Association for retiring at match-point facing Kento Momota of Japan in the 2020 Thomas Cup semi-final tie between China and Japan.
Playing only in this third tournament since his suspension was lifted early by the Chinese Badminton Association in August 2022, Shi faced off with World No. 3 Lee Zii Jia in the Denmark Open final, looked more mature and better than he was even before the suspension.
Highlights of Shi Yuqi vs. Lee Zii Jia in the Denmark Open final:
With so many eyes focused on him and Lee Zii Jia on Sunday night, Shi was riding on the strong play of his speed, attack, and defense to stave off Lee Zii Jia with a 21-18, 16-21, 21-12 victory at the Jyske Bank Arena in Odense, Denmark.
“I am very excited to win a title after one year,” said Shi after the match.
“When the match finished, I just couldn’t hold back my tears. Thanks a lot to my teammates, my coaches, and all the fans,” added Shi.
“Lee Zii Jia is a good player, I was patience, and paid attention to every detail on the court that’s how I won the match,” continued Shi.
Here’s another interview by Shi Yuqi with Badminton Denmark after the Denmark Open final:
Meanwhile, the men’s doubles final saw two of the most successful men’s pairs in the BWF World Tour event – Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia who played in their 8th World Tour final this year,were fighting fiercely with compatriots and two-time former champions – Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.
Alfian/Ardianto took the first game 21-19 but were trailing 6-12 in the second game. The World No. 6 Alfian/Ardianto maintained their fighting spirit and eventually came back from 17-20 to level the score at 20-20. Alfian/Ardianto took the World No. 2 to deuce 7 times, before winning the game 28-26 in a pulsating match.
Highlights of Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto vs. Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in the Denmark Open final:
After winning the German Open, and Korea Masters by beating the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Chen Yufei in both of those finals, China’s women’s singles World No. 9 He Bingjiao won her third title of the year in Denmark Open also beating Chen Yufei. He overcame Chen 22-20, 12-21, and 21-10 in 67 minutes on Sunday.
The women’s doubles No. 1 seeds Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan remained dominant as they saw off Baek Ha Na/Lee So Hee in the final 21-12, 21-15. The Denmark Open was Chen/Jia’s 6th title of the season.
Although China’s reigning mixed doubles champions – Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong were not in their best form at the Denmark Open, that didn’t stop them from winning their 8th title of the year by beating compatriots Huang Dong Ping/Feng Yan Zhe 21-19, 20-22, 21-19 on Sunday.