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Singapore Open: South Korea’s An beats top-ranked Yamaguchi for fifth title of 2023

South Korea’s An Se-young won her fifth title this year as she outclassed Japan’s world number one Akane Yamaguchi in straight games 21-16, 21-14 to capture the Singapore Open badminton on Sunday.

Playing in her eighth consecutive final of 2023, the 21-year-old An added the Singapore crown to victories in India, Indonesia, the All England Open and Thailand.

“I’ve been feeling very confident since the start of the year and I’m very pleased I found my winning formula,” An, ranked second in the world, said.

“This victory is especially meaningful as it’s also my first competitive professional tournament in Singapore. I’m so happy I have won here.”

Despite being the highest-ranked player in the women’s draw and having more experience, the 26-year-old Yamaguchi could not match her rival’s ferocious attacks and deceptive net play.

“An’s a formidable opponent and she was very aggressive today. I was mentally not prepared for it and it showed in the match,” said Yamaguchi, the two-time world champion.

Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting became the first player in 20 years since China’s Chen Hong to successfully defend his Singapore men’s singles title when he defeated Anders Antonsen 21-16, 21-13.

In a contest that lasted 40 minutes, the Indonesian showed his class with his powerful smashes and fast pace to prevail over the Dane, a former world number two who is trying to make his comeback after suffering multiple injuries last year.

“I knew Anders was going to be aggressive as he had shown during the semi-final last night. But I told myself to stay calm and play my own game. It’s really an honour to be able to defend my title here in Singapore and I’m looking forward to a great season ahead,” said Ginting.

China’s Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan clinched the women’s doubles, while the Danish pair Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje claimed the mixed doubles title. The men’s doubles went to Japan’s Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi.

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