BADMINTON: Bad week to be no. 1 as three lose in French Open

China's 2016 Olympic Badminton singles champion Long Chen

The Yonex French Open in Paris (FRA) was loaded with all five of the no. 1-ranked players or teams in the world. But only one managed to win:

∙ In men’s Singles, no. 1 Kento Momota (JPN) was eliminated in the semifinals by 2016 Rio champ Long Chen (CHN), who went on to beat no. 2-ranked Yuqi Shi (CHN) in the final, 21-17, 21-19.

∙ The top-ranked men’s Doubles team of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA) reached the finals, but then lost a tense, three-set match to China’s unseeded Chengkai Han and Haodong Zhou, 23-21, 8-21, 21-17.

∙ This year’s dominant women’s player, Tzu Ying Tai (TPE) got to the final, but fell to no. 2 Akane Yamaguchi (JPN) in another thriller, 22-20, 17-21, 21-13.

∙ Only China’s Siwei Zhang and Yaqiong Huang managed to win among the no. 1-ranked entries, beating unseeded Seung Jae Seo and YuJung Chae (KOR) in Mixed Doubles, 21-19, 21-14.

In the women’s Doubles, it was no. 5-ranked Mayru Matsumoto and Wakana Nagihara (JPN) who won, beating surprise finalists Gabriele and Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria in straight sets.

The French Open ended the European swing for the BWF World Tour. The remaining six tournaments will all be in Asia, starting with the Macau Open next week. Summaries from Paris:

BWF World Tour/Yonex French Open
Paris (FRA) ~ 23-28 October 2018
(Full results here)

Men’s Singles: 1. Long Chen (CHN); 2. Yuqi Shi (CHN); 3. Rasmus Gemke (DEN) and Kento Momota (JPN). Semis: Shi d. Gemke, 21-11, 21-16; Chen d. Momota, 21-18, 21-8. Final: Chen d. Shi, 21-17, 21-19.

Men’s Doubles: 1. Chengkai Han/Haodong Zhou (CHN); 2. Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA); 3. Jhe-Huei Lee/Yang Lee (TPE) and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/ Chirag Shetty (IND). Semis: Han/Zhou d. Lee/Lee, 13-21, 21-18, 21-17; Gideon/Sulkamuljo d. Rankireddy/Shetty, 21-12, 26-24. Final: Han/Zhou d. Gideon/Sukamuljo, 23-21, 8-21, 21-17.

Women’s Singles: 1. Akane Yamaguchi (JPN); 2. Tzu Ying Tai (TPE); 3. Yufei Chen (CHN) and Bingjiao He (CHN). Semis: Tai d. Chen, 18-21, 21-12, 21-14; Yamaguchi d. He, 20-22, 21-19, 21-19. Final: Yamaguchi d. Tai, 22-20, 17-21, 21-13.

Women’s Doubles: 1. Mayru Matsumoto/Wakana Nagihara (JPN); 2. Gabriele Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva (BUL); 3. So Hee Lee/Seung Chan Shin (KOR) and Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu (INA). Semis: Stoeva/Stoeva d. Lee/Shin, 15-21, 21-15, 21-15; Matsumoto/Nagihara d. Polii/Rahayu, 21-10, 21-8. Final: Matsumoto/Nagihara d. Stoeva/Stoeva, 21-14, 21-19.

Mixed Doubles: 1. Siwei Zheng/Yaqiong Huang (CHN); 2. Seung Jae Seo/YuJung Chae (KOR). 3. Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino (JPN) and Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai (THA). Semis: Zheng/Huang d. Watanabe/Higashino, 21-11, 21-14; Seo/Chae d. Puavaranukroh/Taerattanachai, 21-14, 21- 9. Final: Zheng/Huang d. Seo/Chae, 21-19, 21-14.