Three Danish matches, three Danish victories, and a phenomenal Danish start at this year’s Victor Denmark Open. Read along here for a review of Tuesday’s biggest matches and quotes from the players.
51 days after the WC in the Royal Arena, it is time again for a big badminton event on Danish soil.
Today the VICTOR DENMARK OPEN 2023 began, and for the second year in a row it is in the Jyske Bank Arena in Odense. Whether you have bought a ticket or are spending the autumn holidays behind the TV screen, there are exciting matches to look forward to.
The first round is played on Tuesday and Wednesday. The majority of the Danish first round matches will be played on Wednesday, but there was still a lot to look forward to on the first day. Below you can get an overview of some of the most interesting matches, results and quotes from the players. TV 2 SPORT broadcasts every day from VICTOR DENMARK OPEN 2023.
Christo Popov – Anthony Ginting (2nd seed): 15-21, 15-21
21-year-old Christo Popov has teased world number one Viktor Axelsen both at the European Games and the EC for teams, and today the Frenchman should try to do it to world number 2, Anthony Ginting. And it was not at all unthinkable. Popov had the statistics on his side. He won their only match between them, which was left at the Indonesia Open 2021. Here the figures were 21-17, 21-18.
The young Frenchman Christo Popov was not able to repeat the success of the last head-to-head from 2021. Popov was fine in both sets, and the young Frenchman provided great play and long duels, which he is a guarantee of, but he succeeded never gaining control of a match that was predominantly Ginting. Indonesian world number two Anthony Ginting finally managed to get over his Denmark Open complex and play convincingly in the second round in a comfortable victory in two sets. It is the first time that the former China Open winner has played his way through the first round at the Denmark Open, despite having participated five times before this year’s edition.
Ong/Teo – Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty (3rd): Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty withdraw. Ong/Teo wins by walkover.
Another treat of a match on the first day. When the draw was announced, it was world number 3 against number 9. Since then, the Indians have only improved that ranking, so that they are now number 1 in the world for the first time in their career, although they remain 3rd seed at the VICTOR DENMARK OPEN. If you look at the matches between the two pairs, it could well be a nerve-wracking duel in the first round. The Indians lead 4-3 in their clash, and in five of the seven games the winner has been found after three sets. Among other things, in the latest showdown at the Asian Championships in April, where Rankireddey and Shetty won 21-19 in the third set.
The treat that was planned in the first round at this year’s Victor Denmark Open in the meeting between the world number 1 and 9, must be said to be something of an anti-climax, as the newly crowned Indian winners of the Asian Games Satwisairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty were forced to cancel. Thus, Ong/Teo goes on without a fight. In the second round, the winner of Akira Koga/Taichi Saito and the compatriots and the Arctic Open finalists Man/Tee await.
Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Bøje – Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet: 21-17, 18-21, 21-19
The statistics were good for Christiansen and Bøje before the meeting in the first round against the pair from Hong Kong. The score is 3-1 in Denmark’s favour, where the latest match at the India Open this year ended with a Danish victory in two sets. However, Tang and Tse come with great results in the bag after a final place at the Super 500 tournament Hong Kong Open, and twice before they have won bronze medals at the World Cup. Conversely, Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra will not enter the tournament in the best shape, as the former was injured in the quarter-finals at the Arctic Open last week.
First match with Danish participation at this year’s Victor Denmark Open and first Danish victory.
– It’s great to play at home, it’s something very special and we enjoy it, said Alexandra Bøje about the experience of playing at home in Odense.
At a little after 15:00 Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Bøje occupied a well-prepared Jyske Bank Arena in Odense, and an hour and eight minutes later the Danish mixed doubles could advance as winners in the first round match against the former Denmark Open winners Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet from Hong Kong after a true horror in three sets.
– They are difficult to play against. They are two technically very skilled players, they play with a big overview. They may not play crazy fast, as we know from many of the other top pairs, but they play with great care and they are tactically astute, said Mathias Christiansen about today’s opponent, who forced the pair into three close sets.
The first set was a close affair, where the balls waved back and forth, however, it was with Chinese characters, and it seemed that Liang/Wang played with more energy and courage for life on court 1. This turned Kjær/Søgaard to the extent that where from the beginning of the second set they take the initiative and take the fight. The Chinese world stars bit off during the second and third sets, but Kjær/Søgaard manage to keep their cool and win two sets in a row and advance to the second round.
– It is early in the tournament, but it is clear that the best pair we have beaten is a pair that is in the conversation to be the best in the world. It’s super cool. We broke the boil last week with a win over a top 10 pair in Ong/Teo, and now we beat a top 5 pair here, said Rasmus Kjær about the win and its significance, and the pair’s upward form curve.
In the second round, another Chinese pair awaits in He Ji Ting/Ren Xiang Yu.
Loh Kean Yew – Kodai Naraoka (3rd seed): 19-21, 21-6, 21-19
World number three against number nine in the rankings. Welcome for a match in the first round. Loh Kean Yew, who is ranked lowest of the two players, has the upper hand in the head-to-head as he leads 3-0. Both players reached the semi-finals last year at the VICTOR DENMARK OPEN and both have proven to be good at major tournaments. Loh Kean Yew became world champion in 2021, and Naraoka won a World Cup silver medal in August in Denmark.
After a marathon three-set match, Singaporean former world champion Loh Kean Yew advances to the second round at this year’s Victor Denmark Open.
1 hour and 20 minutes it should take the two cocks to find a winner. A match that offered drama, great duels, yellow cards and a lot of sweat on the floor, Loh Kean Yew could draw the longest straw. He did so after a back-and-forth first set, then sat on top of things in the second set, then held the tension until the end in a close third set.
It was two players each with their own ambition for the match. Naraoka would bide his time and play long languishing duels, while Loh Kean Yew would attack and play quickly especially towards the end of the match, the latter proving victorious.
Loh Kean Yew was asked by Badminton Denmark about the victory and its importance, and he replied:
– It is an important victory. Any win is an achievement in itself, it’s been a long season. Hopefully I can continue, said Loh Kean Yew.
– It was very intense at the end, it could have gone to both of us, added Loh Kean Yew.
In the next round, Danish Anders Antonsen awaits Loh Kean Yew. It is something Loh Kean Yew looks forward to with both awe and optimism.
– He is a difficult opponent, but I look forward to playing against him, we have to see how he looks on the day, said Loh about the Danish Antonsen.