2020 in Review: Upsets of the Year

2020 in Review: Upsets of the Year
Joel Eipe (left) and Rasmus Kjaer.

In an unusual year which saw few tournaments, these were the upsets that stood out:

Joel Eipe/Rasmus KjÆr bt Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen

DANISA Denmark Open, second round

The Denmark Open had the stage set for home favourites Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen to display their wares. The fourth seeds would have expected to ride the challenge of Joel Eipe/Rasmus Kjaer in their second round clash; however, the young challengers sparkled on the occasion, riding high on confidence and playing fearless badminton to take down their seniors, 21-18 17-21 21-16.

Pornpawee Chochuwong bt Carolina Marin

Barcelona Spain Masters, final

Chochuwong celebrates after beating Carolina Marin in Spain.

Given that Carolina Marin was playing on home soil and preparing for the All England, the Barcelona Spain Masters was expected to be a breeze for the three-time world champion. However, the doughty Chochuwong put paid to her hopes with a typically tenacious display, capturing the title with a 11-21 21-16 21-18 result.

Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue bt Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti

DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters, quarterfinals

Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue of France.

French duo Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue were unfazed by the quality of their opponents and the boisterous Indonesian crowd as they shocked home favourites Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti, 21-19 14-21 21-18, to make the semifinals of a World Tour 500 event for the first time.

Wang Zhi Yi bt Akane Yamaguchi

DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters, second round

China will be enthused by the rise of Wang Zhi Yi.

Following in the footsteps of Chen Yu Fei, with whom she bears a resemblance in physique and playing style, Wang Zhi Yi showed she had the goods to make it big at the senior level, beating Ratchanok Intanon at the Malaysia Masters and following that up with a great win over Akane Yamaguchi at the Indonesia Masters, 12-21 21-15 24-22.

Robin Tabeling/Selena Piek bt Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong

YONEX All England, second round

Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong arrived in Birmingham with a formidable reputation. The world No.1 had won three tournaments in a row and were expected to retain their title. However, it took Tabeling and Piek just 35 minutes to author the upset, 22-20 21-17, and enter the quarterfinals.

Line Christophersen bt Line Kjaersfeldt

DANISA Denmark Open, first round

Line Christophersen’s lanky frame helps her attacking game.

There was a gulf in both ranking and experience between Line Kjaersfeldt and Line Christophersen as the two Danes met in the opening round of the Denmark Open. Christophersen is talked about as a prospect for Denmark, and she showed just why she is highly regarded. Using her height to great effect and showing composure on the big stage, Christophersen calmly cut apart Kjaersfeldt’s challenge, 21-18 21-18.

Jones Ralfy Jansen/Kilasu Ostermeyer bt Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock

Barcelona Spain Masters, first round

Daylight at the end of the tunnel for Chris and Gabby Adcock.

The Adcocks were inconsistent in 2019 and early 2020; yet, it was a surprise when they fell in the first round of the Barcelona Spain Masters to Jones Ralfy Jansen and Kilasu Ostermeyer. 21-19 23-21.

Other Notable Upsets

  • Line Kjaersfeldt bt Chen Yu Fei 21-18 21-14 (Indonesia Masters, first round)
  • Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida bt Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan 21-15 21-12 (Indonesia Masters, quarterfinals)
  • Chong Man Wei/Pearly Tan Koong Le bt Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti 21-18 21-13 (Malaysia Masters, first round)
  • Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida bt Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan 21-15 21-12 (Malaysia Masters, second round)
  • Sara Thygesen/Maiken Fruergaard bt Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi 22-20 22-20 (Indonesia Masters, semifinals)
  • Shesar Hiren Rhustavito bt Kidambi Srikanth-5 12-21 21-14 21-11 (Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters, first round)
  • Kirsty Gilmour bt Carolina Marin (SaarLorLux Open, semifinals)