Indonesian Player Jonatan Christie Wins Hong Kong Open Men’s Singles Title
HONG KONG (AFP) – Jonatan Christie from Indonesia made history by becoming the first Indonesian in 25 years to win the Hong Kong Open men’s singles title. He faced a fierce battle with Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in the final match. Meanwhile, Akane Yamaguchi from Japan claimed the women’s singles title.
Christie was pushed to his limits by Nishimoto, losing the first game 12-21. However, he managed to bounce back and win the second game 22-20, forcing a decider. The final match stretched out for 90 minutes, making it the longest match of the tournament, and Christie clinched victory by taking the final game 21-18.
“It wasn’t an easy match at all. Kenta played well and never gave up, but neither did I,” Christie commented after his win. His victory is even more remarkable considering that he had arrived at the tournament feeling unsatisfied with his fitness and unsure if he would be able to compete.
This marks the first time an Indonesian player has won the men’s singles title since Budi Santoso in 1998. The men’s draw had already witnessed a surprise defeat of world number one Victor Axelsen from Denmark in the first round.
In the women’s singles final, Yamaguchi secured her fifth title of the year by defeating China’s Zhang Yiman with a score of 21-18 21-15. Yamaguchi, who is currently ranked number two in the world, expressed her satisfaction with the outcome, saying, “It’s been a fruitful outing for me, and I’m very happy that I won the tournament. I hope to build on what I’ve accomplished in these two weeks.”
The Hong Kong pair of Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet also garnered attention by reaching the mixed doubles finals for the first time. However, they were defeated by China’s new duo of Guo Xinwa and Wei Yaxin with scores of 21-13 21-19.
“We are disappointed because we badly wanted to be the first home mixed pair to win the Hong Kong Open,” Tse said. “But our opponents are a new pair, and we were not familiar with their style of play.”
In the women’s doubles final, Indonesia’s Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Ramadhanti fought back to defeat Malaysians Perly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharan with a score of 14-21 24-22 21-9 and claim the title. The men’s doubles title went to Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, who narrowly defeated Indonesia’s Leo Carnando and Daniel Marthin with scores of 21-10 22-24 21-19.
Throughout the tournament, several players criticized the court conditions after experiencing slips and falls. US player Zhang Beiwen, who lost her footing during her quarterfinal match against Yamaguchi, expressed her concerns on Instagram. World champion Carolina Marin from Spain and Victor Axelsen also voiced their dissatisfaction with the court conditions.