Canada Open: ‘Dream Come True’

Koki Watanabe and Jesper Toft/Amalie Magelund celebrated their first HSBC BWF World Tour Super 500 title by winning the YONEX Canada Open 2024.

World No.18 Watanabe prevented No.37 Alex Lanier from reclaiming his 2022 crown, coasting to a 21-6 rout in the third game after a hard battle in the first two games.

“One of my dreams was to win a Super 500, so it’s a great achievement for me,” said Watanabe. “I just kept focus on one step after another. I want to make an example to little children, that height doesn’t matter, that if you work hard, you can go to the top. There are a lot of upcoming tournaments, so I’m want to win a Super 750 or Super 1000 next.”

Koki Watanabe celebrates his maiden Super 500 title

Lanier admitted he’d run out of fuel by the third game.

“I was dead at the end. It was hard for me to follow the speed and consistency he had on me. I felt that he was so strong on court today and I had to try my best and this takes a lot of energy. I was trying to be in the top 32 and keep playing the best players, so after this week I think I will be there. For the moment my goal is to get a medal at the World Championships and to win a Super 1000.”

New pair Toft/Magelund continued to make sensational progress, winning their first Super 500 title in only their third tournament together.

Jesper Toft and Amalie Magelund

Playing their third straight final, Toft and Magelund turned around near-certain defeat to senior compatriots Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Boje from 6-14 down in the second, to prevail 9-21 24-22 21-12.

“They played very well, it looked like a loss for us. But then 6-14 in the second we did a turnaround, I don’t know how. And then I think the last game was pretty good for us, we were attacking and playing our game.

“It’s our first Super 500 win, we can be proud of this. They’ve been a top 10 pair, and they played well. We managed to challenge them and get the win.”

Magelund surmised that Toft’s change of serves helped them make the turnaround.

“Jesper did some good flat serves and that was the turning point and they maybe got a bit shaky. In the third we loosened up and they got more nervous. It was such a rollercoaster. It’s crazy right now, we don’t even believe it. To win a Super 500, it’s so amazing.”

Other Highlights

» Rin Iwanaga/Kie Nakanishi won their third straight title, adding the Canada Open to the Malaysia Masters and the US Open. The Japanese beat Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Yin-Hui/Lin Jhih Yun 21-13 21-13.

» Busanan Ongbamrungphan claimed the women’s singles title beating Line Kjaersfeldt 21-16 21-14.

» Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen’s bright season continued, with the world No.2 winning their third title of the year beating Ben Lane/Sean Vendy 18-21 21-14 21-11.

What They Said

“We lost five-six points in a row on service; they mixed it up and we couldn’t receive. Obviously we are disappointed not to close it out in the second despite having a big lead. We’ve played some good matches, so we’re going into the Olympics with a good amount of confidence.” – Mathias Christiansen

“Back to back titles in Canada  — it’s quite incredible. I don’t know what to say, we got off to a slow start in almost every match but we managed to fight our way back into it.” – Kim Astrup


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