Hong Kong Open: Decades-Old Droughts Smashed

Five shuttlers will be talked about for a long time in the Hong Kong Open storytelling for ending their countries’ title-less spell in September 2023.

On finals day at the Hong Kong Coliseum today, Indonesians Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti set things in motion, with the come-from-behind 14-21 24-22 21-9 victory over Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan making them the first women’s doubles champions from Indonesia in the competition’s 41-year history.

The world No.8s saved one match point at 20-19 in the second game before stepping it up a notch in the third, quickly moving to 7-0 then 11-2 ahead at interval, to haul themselves back into the winners circle more than a year after acing the Singapore Open in July last year.

“We are relieved to have come through such a difficult contest,” said Rahayu. “We managed to keep our composure towards the end of the second game, and in the decider, once we opened up a healthy lead, we were able to relax and play with more confidence.”

One for the album.

The second longest drought of 38 years fell in the concluding clash, when Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen emulated Danish compatriots Jesper Helledie/Steen Fladberg’s 1985 win by outlasting Leo Rolly Carnando/Daniel Marthin 21-10 22-24 21-19.

Having waited two years for an HSBC BWF World Tour title, Astrup/ Rasmussen now have two in two months – the Canada Open in July being their first since the 2021 Swiss Open. The Danes also took the European Games gold a week earlier in Poland.

“It does make it extra special,” said Rasmussen about breaking Denmark’s duck. “We’ve had so many good pairs over the years so it’s always nice to have our names on the winners list. We hope to continue the Danish men’s doubles legacy for some time to come.”

Just before their triumph, Jonatan Christie became the first Indonesian since Budi Santoso in 1998 – and sixth overall – to top the men’s singles podium. Christie, runner-up to Viktor Axelsen at the Japan Open seven weeks ago, prevailed 12-21 22-20 21-18 in an 82-minute slugfest with Kenta Nishimoto.

“It was such a tough match. Kenta played well and never gave up but neither did I,” said Christie.

“When I arrived here, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to play as my physical condition wasn’t the best. But God had different plans and it’s something beyond my understanding. I thank God for this victory,” added the deeply spiritual world No.6.

Results (Finals)

Astrup celebrating with coach Thomas Stavngaard.


“Of course we are disappointed but the positive thing is we came this far and were able to improve our performances this week. We will be back stronger.” – Tan

“I’ve had a good fortnight in China and Hong Kong China and I hope to build on what I accomplished in these two weeks.” – women’s singles champion Akane Yamaguchi

“We badly wanted to be the first home mixed pair to win the Hong Kong Open. But our opponents are a new tandem and we weren’t familiar with their style.”Tse Ying Suet after she and Tang Chun Man lost to Guo Xin Wa/Wei Ya Xin

“We surprised ourselves by winning our first tournament together. Maybe it’s the beginners’ luck but we also prepared well for this tournament.” – Wei

Tse and Tang’s efforts proved insufficient in the end.

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