PARIS – Akane Yamaguchi and Kenta Nishimoto both suffered straight-games defeat Sunday in the women’s and men’s singles finals, respectively, at the French Open Superseries badminton tournament.
Fifth-seeded Yamaguchi was brushed aside by Tai Tzu-ying in 31 minutes at Stade Pierre de Coubertin, the top seed and world No. 1 from Taiwan claiming a 21-4, 21-16 victory for her fourth Superseries title of the year.
“I couldn’t react well to my opponent’s attacks and strategies. I kept allowing her to make the first move,” said Yamaguchi, who entered Sunday’s game with a 4-4 head-to-head record against Tai.
Despite a convincing win against Rio silver medalist and second seed Pusarla Sindhu a day earlier in the semifinals, Yamaguchi said she had difficulty returning Tai’s “flying shuttlecocks” and responding to her speed.
“If I don’t start playing at my own pace and take control of the game it will turn out like today, when I’m no match (for my opponent),” she said.
In the men’s final, qualifier Nishimoto was beaten by eighth-seeded Srikanth Kidambi 21-14, 21-13 and failed in his bid to earn his first Superseries crown.
The Indian star earned his fourth Superseries title of the year and second in two weeks following his victory at the Denmark Open last weekend.
Kidambi, who beat defending champion Shi Yuqi of China in the quarterfinals, took a four-point lead in the second game before Nishimoto got his first point of the game.
“My opponent has experienced the finals many times so he had composure and his level was a few notches above mine. But it’s a confidence boost that I reached the final by winning against higher-ranked players,” Nishimoto said.
The BWF World Superseries is a circuit of 12 tournaments featuring the top 32-ranked players in singles and doubles. The season finale will be held Dec. 13-17 in Dubai.
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