Kunlavut Vitidsarn, An Se Young Win 2023 Thailand Open

Kunlavut Vitidsarn claims the 2023 Thailand Open. (photo: NurPhoto)
Kunlavut Vitidsarn claims the 2023 Thailand Open. (photo: NurPhoto)

Bangkok: Thailand’s rising star Kunlavut Vitidsarn and Korean prodigy An Se Young emerged as the standout performers in the 2023 Thailand Super 500 badminton tournament, clinching the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively on Sunday.

Highlights of Kunlavut Vitidsarn vs. Lee Cheuk Yiu in the 2023 Thailand Open final:

World No. 5 and the second seed, Kunlavut Vitidsarn, successfully defended the honor of the host country. In the men’s singles final, he defeated Hong Kong’s eighth seed Lee Cheuk Yiu in just 38 minutes with a score of 21-12, 21-10. This victory secured Vitidsarn his second title of the year and extended his career head-to-head record against Lee Cheuk Yiu to 3-0.

Vitidsarn had previously defeated Denmark’s World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen 22–20, 10–21, 21–12 to claim the India Super 750 title in January. Now, he has become the first Thai player in seven years to win the men’s singles championship on home soil since Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk’s triumph in 2016.

Korea emerged as the biggest winner on Sunday, securing three titles in women’s singles, mixed doubles, and women’s doubles.

Highlights of An Se-young vs. He Bingjiao in the 2023 Thailand Open final:

In the women’s singles category, World No. 2 An Se-young showcased remarkable consistency throughout the year. She reached the final in every tournament she participated in 2023 and secured the Thailand Open title in today’s final by defeating China’s World No. 5 He Bingjiao with a score of 21-10, 21-19. An Se-young’s victory over He Bingjiao marked her third consecutive win against the Chinese player.

At just 21 years old, An Se-young has been on an impressive run this season, reaching the finals of the Malaysia Super 1000, Indonesia Super 500, Germany Super 300, All England Super 1000, Asian Championships, and Thailand Super 500. She also led the Korean team to the mixed team final of the 2023 Sudirman Cup in Suzhou. In total, she has now claimed four titles and four runners-up this season.

The Korean mixed doubles pair of Kim Won Ho/Jeong Na Eun won their first championship since teaming up in the mixed doubles category. Ranked ninth in the world, they staged a thrilling comeback in the mixed doubles final, defeating Thailand’s top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai 11-21, 21-19, 22-20. This victory comes after finishing as runners-up in last year’s Australian Open and this year’s German Open.

Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai, who dominated the Malaysia Masters last week, continued their excellent form this week, reaching the final. However, they fell short of winning the championship on home soil. They had previously lost to Kim/Jung in the round of 16 of the India Super 750 earlier this year, and today’s loss has put them at a 1-2 disadvantage in their head-to-head record.

In the women’s doubles category, the Korean duo of Kim So Yeong/Kong Hee Yong, defeated Thailand’s sixth seeds, Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsaard, with scores of 21-13, 21-17. This victory marks their second consecutive triumph since the 2020 II Thailand Open in January 2021 and their second consecutive win against the Thai pair.

China’s rising men’s pair of Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang secured victory in the men’s doubles final. Ranked sixth in the world and seeded third in the tournament, they comfortably defeated Indonesia’s 2022 All-England champions Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana 21-10, 21-15. This was Liang/Wang’s third title this year, having previously won the India Super 750 by defeating Malaysia’s Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik in a thrilling final. After successfully defending their title at the Sudirman Cup last month, they chose to skip the Malaysia Masters and have now claimed another championship this week. The Chinese team finished the tournament with one title and one runner-up.

Highlights of Liang Weikeng/Wang Chang vs. Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana in the 2023 Thailand Open final:

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