Hong Kong Open: Danes Dazzle

Of all the countries with more than one representative in the VICTOR Hong Kong Open 2023 second round, Denmark were the only one to end the day with 100 per cent record.

Young men’s singles shuttler Magnus Johannesen was the first to step out and set the tone for his compatriots, bouncing back from the brink against the seasoned Wang Tzu Wei. Johannesen meekly lost the first game 21-10 and was trailing the second 19-17 before snatching four consecutive points to force a rubber. He heroically repeated the trick in the decider, going from 20-18 down to 22-20 to set up a last eight battle with Malaysian Ng Tze Yong.

“My opponent was clever with long breaks, and I got frustrated. It was a tough match against myself too in that way. But really proud I could keep it all together and win,” said the 21-year-old.

Johannesen elated after completing his comeback.

Women’s pair Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen followed Johannesen’s lead, albeit more aggressively, on the same court in the very next match, stunning Japanese third seeds Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida in straight games.

The 22-20 21-16 victory over the world No.5s was their first over a top 10 tandem since they beat Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan at the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021.

“In this hall, you don’t want to lift that much due to the drift. So everyone wants to be in attacking mode a bit more,” said Fruergaard of their approach. “We went in and really took our chances. It’s a relief really we could show we can beat some of the best players.”

Thygesen added: “Finally, we beat one of the top pairs. We went close a lot of times and today was our turn to win. Hopefully we can build on this.”

The result also means the quarterfinal tomorrow against Rena Miyaura/Ayako Sakuramoto will be the world No.20s first in three years after finishing runners-up to Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu at the 2020 Indonesia Masters.

Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Rasmus Gemke later wrapped up the perfect day for Denmark with wins over Alexander Dunn/Adam Hall and Jason Gunawan respectively.

Results (Day 3)

Order of play (Day 4)


“It’s like fantasy beating these higher-ranked players. When I saw the draw, I didn’t think I’d win two matches.”Chia Hao Lee after beating Viktor Axelsen and Lee Zii Jia on successive days

“The pressure was more on them. We analysed our last match against them, tried to focus on their weaknesses and take advantage.”Fang-jen Lee on how he and twin brother Fang-chih Lee defeated top seeds Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto

“I’d like to think of myself as an annoying player. And I proved that today with some good control and not just kind of headless running around. I was quite methodical about my annoyance.”Kirsty Gilmour after almost nicking the match against Akane Yamaguchi

“They’ve improved tremendously so we are not taking them lightly. We must do our homework and prepare well.”Lai Shevon Jemie plays down the 4-1 head-to-head lead she and Goh Soon Huat have over their last eight opponents Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari

The Lee twins knew what to do.

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