The HYLO Badminton Open 2021 will find its deserving winners in athletes from Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Singapore.
The conclusion of the HYLO Open 2021 in Saarbrücken, it should once again become a big badminton party. Five finals with athletes from just as many nations showed on Sunday once again in an impressive way what makes the sport of badminton so fascinating. Top-class rallies, emotional tournament winners and fans in the spectator stands who created the right atmosphere and volume for the party. In short: The final day in the Saarlandhalle Saarbrücken could not have been celebrated in a more fitting way.
A big factor for this were also the two Indonesian stars Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo, who once again showed top class badminton in their men's doubles final and crowned themselves the deserved tournament winners with a sovereign 21:14/21:19 victory over their compatriots Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin. Nevertheless, both duos were celebrated, because the predominantly Indonesian fans in the Saarlandhalle did not make any differences in the loud cheering of their idols despite the unequal degree of familiarity of the players. This did not go unnoticed by the two new champions Gideon/Sukamuljo: "The atmosphere in the hall was really great. In addition, the title means a lot to us because we haven't been able to win a tournament for a long time."
Two titles go to Thailand
Contrary to expectations, however, it was not the Indonesians but rather Thailand who became the secret nation of the tournament, thanks to the players in the women's singles and mixed disciplines on Sunday. Busanan Ongbamrungphan started the tournament as a slight favorite against Yeo Jia Min (Singapore) and after only 35 minutes of play, she lived up to this role. With 21:10 and 21:14 the Thai clearly decided the match in her favor and won her first title at a Super 500 tournament in Saarbrücken. The 25-year-old was correspondingly happy after the match: "The victory here in Saarbrücken means a lot to me. After the long European tour I'm physically very exhausted, but I was still totally focused in my head. That was the key to success for me."
In addition to Ongbamrungphan, two other athletes from Thailand were also happy about winning the title at the HYLO Open. In the mixed, the first-seeded duo Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai marched through the tournament with only one set loss and gave the Indonesian mixed Jordan/Oktavianti no chance in the final (22:20, 21:14).
Hoshi and Matsuda decide Japan duel for themselves
While the Thai duo prevailed in the mixed, in the women's doubles it was already clear before the final that the winners would come from Japan. Chisato Hoshi and Aoi Matsuda put up a tough fight against their teammates Iwanaga/Nakanishi and had the better end on their side after a total of 52 minutes. With 22:20 and 21:18, the two Japanese not only won the match in two sets, but also their first joint title this year. In addition to the prize money of 25,280 US dollars, the women's duo can also look forward to valuable points in the BWF world rankings. The Japanese are currently ranked 68th in the BWF world rankings.
Surprise winner Loh Kean Yew
Nachdem im Damendoppel somit ein ungesetztes Duo gewinnen konnte, gab es zum Abschluss des Tages auch im Herreneinzel einen Überraschungssieger. Loh Kean Yew aus Singapur schaltete in den ersten vier Turnierrunden mit Chou Tien Chen (TWN), Toma Popov (FRA), Rasmus Gemke (DEN) und Lakshya Zen (IND) gleich vier hochkarätige Gegner aus, die allesamt schon einmal die Badminton Open in Saarbrücken gewinnen konnten. Im Endspiel am Sonntag wartete dann der Malaysier Lee Zii Jia, seinerseits Achter der BWF-Weltrangliste und in Saarbrücken an Position zwei gesetzt. Nachdem dieser den ersten Satz mit 21:19 für sich entscheiden konnte, drehte Loh Kean Yew im zweiten Durchgang auf und kämpfte sich mit 21:13 zurück in die Partie. Somit ging es im letzten Spiel des Turniers in den Entscheidungssatz, in dem sich Lee Zii Jia beim Stand von 12:17 am Rücken verletzte und die Partie zur Bestürzung aller Fans in der Saarlandhalle nicht mehr zu Ende bringen konnte. Des einen Leid ist bekanntlich des anderen Freud und so war es tatsächlich Loh Kean Yew, der sich am Ende verdient den bisher größten Erfolg in seiner Karriere sicherte. „Auch wenn mir alles wehtut und mein Körper dringend Schlaf benötigt, bin ich natürlich sehr happy. Mit dem Turniersieg habe ich im Vorfeld niemals gerechnet“, resümierte der erschöpfte, aber glückliche Singapurer in seinem Sieger-Interview.
HYLO Open remain at least a Super 300 tournament
At the HYLO Open 2021, everything the badminton heart desires was there: The spectators in the Saarlandhalle could marvel at sovereign favorites, approachable stars and overjoyed surprise winners during the six tournament days. Circumstances to which one could well get used in Saarbrücken. This is also the opinion of tournament director Frank Liedtke, who had another piece of good news to announce at the end of the final day: "We have seen world-class athletes in the past few days and experienced an incredible atmosphere in the hall. Therefore, I am very happy to announce that we will definitely see a Super 300 tournament in Saarbrücken next year. Currently, there are also still talks with the BWF, whether it might even stay with the Super 500 status." So while a final decision is still pending here, one thing is already certain: the HYLO Open 2021 will definitely be remembered by badminton fans in Germany.