Zheng/Huang bag third straight Malaysia Open title

Chinese mixed doubles pair Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong dominated the Malaysia Open for the third consecutive staging. They upended former world number one Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in this year’s final, 21-13, 21-18.

Zheng and Huang previously won the 2018 and 2019 editions of the tournament. The Malaysia Open was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic.

Interestingly, this is Zheng’s four successive first place finish, as he was the partner of Chen Qingchen in 2017.

Zheng and Huang retook the top spot in the BWF rankings the week before the tournament after they swept the Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open in the first half of June. The last time they were ranked first was in December 2021 before the Thai duo capped the season with a BWF World Tour Finals championship.

Meanwhile, another player who is having an auspicious midyear is Viktor Axelsen. Like Zheng and Huang, he has been on a roll, laying claim on three BWF World Tour events last month.

Axelsen made short work of Momota Kento of Japan, 21-4, 21-7, in the men’s singles final. He also beat Indonesia’s top two men’s singles shuttlers en route to the championship match.

The Dane was pushed to the limit by both Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Jonatan Christie. In the round of eight, Axelsen edged Ginting, 18-21, 21-17, 21-12. This was followed by a 21-15, 20-22, 21-11 thriller against Christie.

Over in women’s singles, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand defeated Chen Yufei of China, 21-15, 13-21, 21-16 to garner her second Malaysia Open crown. Intanon last won in 2016 against Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei before the latter went on cop the next three titles.

Finally, the men’s and women’s doubles had first time victors. Hoki Takurō and Kobayashi Yūgo of Japan clipped sixth seed Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia, 24-22, 16-21, 21-9 for the men’s doubles diadem, while Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti of Indonesia overcame Zhang Shuxian and Zheng Yu of China, 21-18, 12-21, 21-19 in the distaff side.

The next Grade 1 BWF World Tour to be held is the Malaysia Masters, which is played this week. Zheng and Huang, as well as Momota, are set to defend their respective thrones.

Author Details

JP is an all-around sportswriter who covered the Bingo Bonanza Philippine Gold Grand Prix 2009. Aside from BWF badminton he follows football, basketball, and pro wrestling.