The fast-rising Chou Tien Chen gave himself a shot at a first BWF World Superseries title by entering the Men’s Singles final of the Yonex French Open 2014 yesterday.
The Chinese Taipei player, who has steadily shot up the rankings over the last year, stunned No.4 seed Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia in the semi-finals.
Chou showed great maturity against his more experienced rival. After losing the first game, he trailed for much of the second, but from 15-18 down he stepped it up to take the next six points and the game. Although it was neck-and-neck in the decider from 10-all till 18, Chou kept his composure and shot past his experienced opponent to win the match 14-21 21-18 21-19.
Chou will face China’s Wang Zhengming, who quelled Kento Momota with greater ease than he might have anticipated. Japan’s Thomas Cup hero Momota had an opportunity to take the match to a decider with a 17-14 lead in the second, but lost his way from there as Wang closed it out 21-12 21-17.
Like Chou, Men’s Doubles pair Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa too earned a shot at a maiden World Superseries title. The Japanese fought past Chinese Taipei’s Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin 21-19 21-16. Their opponents in the final will be top seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen, who entered their first World Superseries final since the India Open in April. The Danes were too crafty for Indonesian challengers Hendra Aprida Gunawan/Andrei Adistia as they eased to a 21-7 21-18 result.
In Women’s Singles, All England champion Wang Shixian (featured image) avenged her Denmark Open loss to Chinese compatriot Wang Yihan (21-12 22-20) and will meet top seed Li Xuerui in the final. Li continued her dominance over Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, winning her third straight contest over the 2013 World Champion, 21-18 21-12. The result means Li has reached the final of each of the ten tournaments she has played this year.
The Women’s Doubles final will be a rematch of the title contest at the All England. China’s Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli had the measure of compatriots Luo Ying/Luo Yu (22-20 21-7), while in the other semi-final, Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting, also of China, recovered from a first-game loss to outclass Japan’s Shizuka Matsuo/Mami Naito 19-21 21-11 21-14.
Apart from Men’s Doubles, the other final without Chinese representation will be Mixed Doubles. Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir stormed past China’s Xu Chen/Ma Jin 21-17 21-16 to set up a title clash with England’s Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock. The England pair edged past Denmark’s Mads Pieler Kolding/Kamilla Rytter Juhl 21-17 19-21 21-19 in one of the closest matches of the day.