Smashing Stats: China Open 2023

VICTOR China Open 2023 marks the return of the HSBC BWF World Tour to China after four years due to a break caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. These are some interesting facts about the season’s final Super 1000.

  • If they retain their title, Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong will become the most successful mixed pair in tournament history.
  • Having topped the podium from 2017-2019, they will also be the first ever in the category to win four in a row.
  • Zheng/Huang are two of 11 former winners competing. The others are Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Akane Yamaguchi, Carolina Marin, Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, Lee So Hee, Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan and Misaki Matsutomo.
  • Lee is back alongside a new partner (Baek Ha Na) after winning with Chang Ye Na in 2016.
  • Matsutomo, in mixed doubles with Yuki Kaneko this time, won women’s doubles in 2018 next to Ayaka Takahashi.
  • Interestingly, Chang/Lee and Takahashi/ Matsutomo are the only non-Chinese winners in the sector in the last 31 years.
  • Chen/Jia stand to be the first back-to-back women’s doubles queens since Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang (2011-2014).
  • Bang Soo Hyun remains the sole Korean to win a singles crown (1994). An Se Young will look to join her celebrated countrywoman on the honours list.
  • An is among three top seeds – the others being Viktor Axelsen and Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardiantowithout previous success at the tournament.
  • China Open is one of the very few competitions, and the last among the current Super 1000s fourth seed Tai Tzu Ying is yet to win.
  • A Marin victory on the other hand, will make her the first European to be champion thrice on the bounce. Jiang Yanjiao (2008-2010) is the lone women’s singles player to accomplish feat.
  • China are going through a mini-drought in the discipline, with Li Xue Rui’s 2015 success their latest. Seeds Chen Yu Fei (3) and He Bing Jiao (5) carry their hopes this edition.
  • However, their longest wait is in men’s doubles; China have not triumphed since Zhang Jun/Zhang Wei won at the start of the century in 2001.
  • It is also the only category they don’t have the most titles in, Indonesia lead on 10.
  • No more than three countries have produced winning men’s pairs starting 2003 – Denmark, Indonesia and Korea.
  • Korean Lee Yong Dae was the last to excel in two departments at the same edition (men’s and mixed doubles in 2009).
  • Compatriot Seo Seung Jae (seeded sixth in men’s doubles with Kang Min Hyuk and fifth in mixed doubles with Chae Yu Jung) is the strongest candidate to emulate him in Changzhou. The two pairings just emerged world champions in both categories two weeks ago.
  • Brothers Jalani and Razif Sidek are the only Malaysians to win men’s doubles (1989). Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik (4) and Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi (8) are their seeded hopes this season.
  • India and Japan have never conquered men’s doubles but count on second seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty and fifth seeds Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi respectively.
  • Japan are also waiting for their maiden mixed doubles titlists. Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino are seeded second in the event.

Standout Stat: Nathan Robertson/Gail Emms in 2005 were the final pair not from China, Indonesia or Korea to ace mixed doubles.

No European mixed pair have triumphed after Robertson/Emms.

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