Antonsen and OKUHARA win their maiden Denmark Open titles in tough matches.
World number three Anders Antonsen defeated compatriot Rasmus Gemke 18-21, 21-19, 21-12 to claim the BWF 750 Denmark Open 2020, the first tournament since the restart of international badminton. In the women’s singles final, Japan’s OKUHARA Nozomi overcame Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin to claim her first ever Denmark Open title.
Antonsen overcomes a fighting Gemke
Anders Antonsen was up against fellow countryman Rasmus Gemke in all Danish affair in the final of the Denmark Open and having overcome CHOU Tien Chen in the semi-final, he was touted as the favourite.
However, Rasmus Gemke proved to be a handful and started the match on the front foot with some attacking strokeplay and did not let his compatriot take control of proceedings. The first game went down to the wire with Gemke drawing first blood in the game.
Shook and surprised by Gemke’s first game stunner, Antonsen came into his own in the next two games, making a comeback in the match. The 23-year-old first levelled the match by taking the second game 21-19, another tantalisingly close affair that almost saw Gemke cause an upset for the title.
Antonsen prevailed over his fellow Dane with an overpowering display of excellent attacking badminton in the third game, claiming it 21-12.
After his heart-breaking loss, Gemke said: "I am annoyed at the two mistakes I made at the end of the second game. I feel that I was trying to do the right things where I tried to move forward but I sent it too much to the side because of the wind. I think I tried to play after my plan in the last game but massive kudos to Anders who was brilliant."
OKUHARA wins title, makes statement
The women’s singles final was a clash of titans with two powerhouses in Marin and Okuhara up against each other. Marin had the psychological advantage of having a better head-to-head record and both players started the game strong. The Spanish athlete played some outrageous strokes showing her brilliance, but the Japanese matched her toe to toe with her stunning defence.
With the first game tied at 18-18, something had to give, and Marin made uncharacteristic errors towards the business end and Okuhara capitalise to take the game 21-19.
Marin looked error prone during a large part of the match, leading to inconsistency and handing to points to an uncompromising Okuhara, who sealed the title by taking the second game 21-17.
“I’m happy! Long time no see for a title! Compared to other opponents, Marin is faster and has a harder attack. I was focussed on defence and footwork, and my feet moved very well today. Overall the match went well for me,” an elated Okuhara said after her win.
Fukushima and Hirota continue doubles dominance
Japan’s top seed pairing of FUKUSHIMA Yuki and HIROTA Sayaka defeated compatriots MATSUMOTO Mayu and NAGAHARA Wakana 21-10, 16-21, 21-18 in the women’s doubles final to claim the title.
On the other hand, the men’s doubles title was won by English pairing of Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge, who overcame the Russian pair of Vladmir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov 20-22, 21-17, 21-18.