Kunlavut Vitidsarn To Play Lee Cheuk Yiu In 2023 Thailand Open Final

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Kunlavut Vitidsarn to play Lee Cheuk Yiu in 2023 Thailand Open final. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Kunlavut Vitidsarn to play Lee Cheuk Yiu in 2023 Thailand Open final. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Bangkok: An intense battle unfolded at the Thailand Badminton Open (Super 500) as Kunlavut Vitidsarn, the fifth-ranked Thai star, staged a remarkable comeback against the 23rd-ranked Indian player Lakshya Sen in the men’s singles semi-finals. Vitidsarn’s victory propelled him into the final, where he will face Hong Kong’s eight-seeded Lee Cheuk Yiu in a bid for the championship title.

Vitidsarn, aiming for his second title of the year after his triumph at the India Open, had faced disappointing quarter-final exits in his previous four tournaments. However, playing in front of the home crowd, he managed to overcome Sen in a thrilling match that lasted 1 hour and 16 minutes. The final score was 13-21, 21-17, 21-13 in favor of Vitidsarn. With this win, he extended his lead against Sen to 5 wins and 3 losses in their head-to-head encounters.

In the other men’s singles semi-final, Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong sought revenge against France’s Toma Junior Popov. Lee emerged victorious in straight sets with scores of 21-14, 21-16. This victory allowed him to avenge his defeat against Popov in last year’s Swiss Open, where he was knocked out in the first round.

On the women’s side, South Korea’s rising star An Se Young continued her dominant run this year by reaching the finals with a perfect record. She will be up against Chinese star He Bingjiao, who has secured a spot in the individual finals after nearly seven months.

An Se-young, the world’s second-ranked player, entered the tournament as the number one seed. She defeated Spain’s fourth-seeded Carolina Marin in a commanding performance, sealing her place in the finals with a score of 21-16, 21-12. Notably, this marked An Se-young’s fifth victory in nine matches against the former Olympic and world champion from Spain.

An Se-young’s remarkable consistency this year has seen her reach the finals in all seven competitions since her participation in the Malaysia Open in January. Among these tournaments, she has claimed three titles at the India Open, Indonesia Masters, and All England Championships. She is on course to secure her fourth title of the year in the Thailand Open final.

In the mixed doubles category, Thailand’s top-seeded pair, Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai, continued their impressive form following their victory at the Malaysian Masters last week. They comfortably defeated Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Bøje with a score of 21-10, 21-11 in the semi-finals. Their opponents in the final will be the South Korean fifth-seeded duo, Kim Won Ho/Jeong Na Eun, who triumphed over Chinese Taipei’s Ye Hong Wei/Lee Chia Hsin in a hard-fought match lasting 51 minutes, with a final score of 15-21, 21-15, 21-15.

Meanwhile, the dream of an all-Indonesian men’s doubles final was shattered as the “Minions” Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo faced defeat against China’s third-seeded pair, Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang, with scores of 13-21, 19-21. This loss marked their fourth consecutive defeat against Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang. In the final, Liang/Wang will face another Indonesian pair, Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana, the 2022 All-England champions. The latter narrowly defeated South Korea’s fifth-seeded Chungyu and Kim Won-ho with scores of 22-20, 13-21, 21-16.

In the women’s doubles category, a Korean-Thai showdown unfolded in the semi-finals and will continue into the finals. Last week’s Malaysia Masters winners, third-seeded duo Baek Ha Na/Lee So Hee, were defeated by Thailand’s sixth-seeded pair, Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsaard, with scores of 17-21, 7-21. However, South Korea’s top-seeded pair, Kim So Yeong/Kong Hee Yong, emerged victorious in their match against another Thai pair in the semi-final, Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai, with scores of 21-12 in two games, securing their spot in the final.

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