India’s HS Prannoy and Japan’s Aya Ohori emerged singles champions at the 2017 Yonex US Open that concluded yesterday.
While second seed Prannoy outplayed compatriot Parupalli Kashyap 21-15 20-22 21-12 in the Men’s Singles final, Ohori shut out Canada’s Michelle Li in straight games in the Women’s Singles final.
Japan and Korea finished with two titles each.
Both Prannoy and Parupalli had tough routes to the final. Parupalli edged past top seed Lee Hyun Il (Korea) in the first round, before getting past compatriot Sameer Verma in the quarter-finals and Korea’s Heo Kwang Hee in the semi-finals. Prannoy (featured image) was pushed to three games in the third round (Netherlands’ Mark Caljouw) and quarter-finals (Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama) before fighting past Parupalli for his first GPG crown since the Swiss Open in March 2016.
Ohori’s toughest test was in the semi-finals against Korea’s Lee Jang Mi. The Korean, who had earlier disposed of local favourite Beiwen Zhang in a tense three-setter, once again showcased her grit as she engaged Ohori in a marathon contest. To Ohori’s credit, she stayed in the match despite facing four match points in the second game and fought off a deficit to claim the match 14-21 28-26 21-19.
In the other half, Canada’s Michelle Li worked her way past Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour 16-21 21-16 21-15.
Ohori took the opening game of the final easily, but Li had her chances to equalize as she led 18-14 in the second. Ohori however made a late surge, claiming seven of the last eight points to take the title 21-11 21-19.
In the opening match of the day, Korea’s Shin Seung Chan/Lee So Hee took the Women’s Doubles title beating Japan’s Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara, 21-16 21-13. The title marked the winning return of the former World Junior champions as they had been playing with different partners over the last few years.
Lee and Shin were pushed to the limit in the semi-finals by their compatriots Chae Yoo Jung/Kim So Yeong. In the closest match of the tournament, Lee and Shin prevailed 28-30 21-19 22-20.
Korea won their second title of the day through Seo Seung Jae/Kim Ha Na in Mixed Doubles, over compatriots Kim Won Ho/Shin Seung Chan, 16-21 21-14 21-11. Kim/Shin had earlier accounted for the top seeds, Malaysia’s Tan Kiang Men/Lai Pei Jing, in the quarter-finals, 15-21 21-18 21-18.
Japan also won a second title as Men’s Doubles duo Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko outplayed top seeds Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han (Chinese Taipei) 15-21 21-13 21-13.
The top seeds had prevailed in two close matches earlier on, in the second round against Korea’s Kim Won Ho/Seo Seung Jae (17-21 21-8 23-21) and in the semi-finals against third seeds Sumeeth Reddy/Manu Attri (India), 21-12 12-21 22-20, before running out of steam in the final.