If there can be such a thing, Akane Yamaguchi, with her victory today, completes a near-perfect season.
She’s now the first women’s singles player since Ye Zhaoying in 1997 to claim the All England Open, World Championships and end-of-season finals all in the same year.
Her maiden HSBC BWF World Tour Finals crown adding to her growing list of achievements.
All of course hot on the heels of her BWF Female Player of the Year gong captured on Monday night.
On the court, it was the same clinical badminton we’re used to seeing from the Japanese wonder.
Too quick, too precise for the vanquished Tai Tzu Ying.
Yet, in typical Akane-style, she was humble and gracious as ever.
“I can’t say if it’s the best result of the year, but I have delivered the best result for myself.”
Her opponent Tai admitted to struggling to keep up with the ferocious speed.
“She was faster than me today, so she had the advantage when attacking,” said Tai.
“I also made a few mistakes when defending and wasn’t able to keep my unforced errors in check. But Akane was very fast at the net and played the front court well.”
On her superior speed Yamaguchi added: “You can see from my height, that I’m not very tall, so in terms of speed, I consider quick speed and movement really important and try to be flexible to adapt to conditions.”
As the curtain draws close on the season, 2022 will be remembered as Yamaguchi’s year.