Badminton World Federation (BWF)

No title celebration for Hong Kong mixed doubles pair in Dubai as they lose to top Chinese duo

Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet are brushed aside by the world’s No 1 ranked doubles pair in the title match of the Dubai World Superseries finals

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 December, 2017, 6:59pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 December, 2017, 12:00am

Hong Kong’s mixed doubles duo Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet were unable to climb to the mountaintop one more time, losing their title match at the US$1 million Dubai World Superseries finals on Sunday.

The Hong Kong pair, ranked fifth in the world and seeded fourth in the tournament, fell to top Chinese combination, Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen, 21-15, 22-20 but the Hong Kong duo can be satisfied after making a big impact in the season-ending tournament at Hamdan Sports Complex.

“It was totally unexpected that we reached the final and we should be proud of achieving this feat,” said 26-year-old Tse. “I never thought we would reach the final of this superseries tournament. We were really nervous in our semi-final but fortunately we came through that. We did our best today. Our opponents were really powerful,” she said.

Tang and Tse were hoping to add to their Danish Open crown won in October – beating the same Chinese pair in the final – but came unstuck this time against the world No 1 pair, who retained their Dubai title and ended the year with three superseries titles having also won in Kuching (Malaysian Open) in April and Sydney (Australian Open) in June.

“Our coach had asked us to just enjoy the match and not put too much pressure on ourselves,” said Tang before the final.

Christmas joy as Hong Kong’s Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet reach superseries final in Dubai

The Chinese pair had the upper hand in a 40-minute contest that began well enough for Tang and Tse in the opening exchanges in the first game, but Zheng and Chen gradually slipped away to snatch the first game in just 18 minutes despite some powerful returns by Tang, including an eye-popping backhand smash, trailing at 17-14.

But the Chinese pair, who are both just 20, showed why they are considered the world’s top mixed doubles pair in the face of a brave Hong Kong ­challenge. Tang and Tse made a game out of it to come back from 19-17 down to lead 20-19 and hold game point. But Hong Kong were unable to close out the game as a diving Tse struck a return wide to begin a massive Chinese celebration.

“We got a great partnership and we enjoy playing with each other. This was an important match for us,” said Zheng, who with his partner, picked up US$42,000 each for victory. The Hong Kong pair took home US$20,000 each for finishing runners-up.

Meanwhile, top seed Akane Yamaguchi won a titanic battle in the women’s singles final, edging India’s Rio Olympic silver medallist, P.V. Sindhu, after being forced to come back from a game down before recording a tantalising 15-21, 21-12, 21-19 victory. The match lasted more than an hour and 30 minutes as the diminutive Japanese ended the year on a high note.

“It was a tremendous challenge [against Sindhu] and thanks to the support I received from the stadium. I really enjoyed playing in the final,” said 20-year-old Yamaguchi.