Hong Kong’s Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet stun South Korea’s top seeds in first round of HK Open badminton mixed doubles

The local pair, playing in only their fifth tournament together, win 21-15, 21-14 in 34 minutes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 November, 2016, 11:38pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2016, 12:03am

Hong Kong’s Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet kicked off their Hong Kong Open mixed doubles campaign in style on Tuesday with an unexpected straight-game victory over the top seeds from South Korea.

In front of a cheering home crowd, the Hong Kong pair – playing only their fifth tournament together – stunned Ko Sung-hyun and Kim Ha-na 21-15, 21-14 in an impressive 34 minutes.

“The scoreline suggested an easy victory but it wasn’t,” said Tang. “The Koreans are world number ones and very aggressive but thanks to the support of the fans, we were able to get into the match quickly and did not allow them any chances.”

Tse attributed their success to the fact that they are both left handers – a rare combination in badminton mixed doubles.

“Perhaps they found it difficult to get used to our style as they appeared to have difficulty handling many of the points,” said Tse. “The result will certainly be a boost to our future career.”

Despite being together only six months, they have already won the Chinese Taipei Masters and were runners-up in the Thailand Open.

Victory over the world’s top pair in a superseries tournament in Hong Kong is another feather in their cap.

Fellow Hong Kong mixed doubles player Lee Chun-hei, who represented the city at the Rio Olympics with Chau Hoi-wah, praised his teammates.

“There are a limited number of players in Hong Kong because the pool is small and therefore it’s not easy to form a quality doubles pair,” said Lee, who with Chau won the Australia Open superseries two years ago.

“They have an aggressive style which is not easy and we are always happy to see more doubles pairs coming up.”

Lee and Chau also came through their first round with a 21-11, 21-15 win over Kenta Kazuno and Ayane Kurihara, of Japan.