BJ Cook

Singapore Open 2019: #TeamYonex Wins Gold in Four of Five Categories

Singapore — The Singapore Open did not disappoint this year for either Team Yonex or the fans. Kento Momota (JPN) won in a thrilling seesaw battle with Anthony Ginting (INA), while Thai mixed doubles pair, Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai overcame the world’s top pair to win their highest achievement yet. In both men’s and women’s doubles, Japan made its opening arguments for this month’s Asian Games and next month’s Sudirman Cup.

Ginting has beaten Momota just three times in their previous nine meetings, most notably at last year’s China Open, and he looked very much on course to do so again, as he smashed his way to an early first game win, allowing Momota just 10 points. Even in the second game, Momota found himself 11-16 down, but Momota’s stamina was unwavering, as he fought his way back to take the second game 21-19. That seemed to take the wind out of Ginting’s sails, and Momota eventually sealed the deal at 10-21, 21-19, 21-13 in one hour and 13 minutes.

The third-seeded mixed doubles Thai pair required less than half that time to sail past Malaysians Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing. After upsetting World No.1 pair Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong in the semifinals, nothing was going to stop them from cruising to a 21-14, 21-6 win in the finals for the biggest win of their careers.

In men’s doubles, Takeshi Kamura (JPN) and Keigo Sonoda (JPN), continuously one of the most exciting pairs on the tour to watch, ran up against the Indonesian pair, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan. Kamura and Sonoda fairly easily took the first game, but in the second, the paid found their footing against the high-flying energy of the Japanese pair and squeaked out a win at 19-21. But it was not to last, and Kamura and Sonoda went on to win their first tour title of the year at 21-13, 19-21, 21-17.

Finally, in women’s doubles, reigning World Champions Mayu Matsumoto (JPN) and Wakana Nagahara (JPN) defeated Korean pair Kim Hye Jong and Kong Hee Yong in two close straight games, 21-17, 22-20. In the previous round, they knocked off current World No. 1’s Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota for the third time in seven meetings, including at last year’ World Championships, fueling the growing rivalry between the compatriots.  

Full match results

Kento MomotaASTROX 99AEROBITEPOWER CUSHION 65 Z
Dechapol Puavaranukroh: ASTROX 88 SBG65 TITANIUMPOWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Sapsiree Taerattanachai: ARCSABER 11BG65 TITANIUMPOWER CUSHION 65 Z
Takeshi Kamura: ASTROX 88 SAEROBITE BOOSTPOWER CUSHION 65 Z
Keigo Sonoda: ASTROX 88 DNANOGY 95, POWER CUSHION AERUS 2
Mayu Matsumoto: DUORA 10AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION COMFORT Z WIDE MID
Wakana Nagahara: ASTROX 88 SAEROBITEPOWER CUSHION 65 Z

2018 Panasonic Open Winner, Rahil Gangjee (IND), Signs Equipment Contract with Yonex

Yonex Co., Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has signed an equipment-use contract, including shafts, with Rahil Gangjee, winner of the 2018 Panasonic Open on the Japan Tour.

Gangjee, a native of Calcutta, India, won first place in the Volkswagen Masters in 2004, in only his 8th start on the Asian tour, after outstanding achievements during his amateur career, having won the Indian Amateur Golf Championship and World Amateur Golf Nationals. In 2018, Gangjee achieved his first victory in 14 years at the Panasonic Open Japan, which is positioned as the deciding event for the No. 1 golfer in the Japan-Asia Joint Masters Competition.

“One of the reasons I chose Yonex is because it’s a very exclusive brand,” Gangjee said of the new partnership. “I know the clubs are very high quality because they’re made in Japan." In regards to his EZONE GT driver and REXIS KAIZA-L shaft, he added “it’s very maneuverable, I can easily hit draws and fades in a way that I couldn’t with any other club.” Gangjee will also play the G-BRID-equipped EZONE CB 301 and EZONE CB 501 irons, all handcrafted at the Yonex Manufacturing Headquarters in Niigata, Japan. Yonex is dedicated to continuing to develop golf clubs and shafts that meet the needs of top professionals, and providing full support for our contract players.

PROFILE

Name: Rahil Gangjee
Born: October 2nd, 1978
Height: 165cm
Hometown: Calcutta, India
- Began golfing at the age of 9
- 2004 Volkswagen Masters, Champion (Asia Tour)
- 2018 Panasonic Golf Championship, Champion (Japan Tour)

CONTRACT

Equipment: clubs, shafts, caddy bag, cap
Area: worldwide

IN THE BAG

Driver: EZONE GT, REXIS KAIZA-L shaft
Irons: EZONE CB 501 (#4-6)
          EZONE CB 301 (#7-PW)   
 Wedge: EZONE W 501 Wedge

Malaysia Open 2019: Lin Dan Returns to Form with Victory

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Five-time World Champion and two-time gold medalist, Lin Dan (CHN) had been in a quiet spell since last season, with his last major finals appearance at the 2018 YONEX All England Open.That all changed on Sunday as he upset compatriot Chen Long in a thrilling one-hour-eighteen-minute match to win the Malaysia Open 2019.

Chen, the 4th seed and World No. 5, was the favorite against Lin, whose world ranking has slipped to 16 during his recent draught. By the end of the first game, things seemed destined to play out as expected, as Chen closed it out quickly with Lin winning only nine points. Though, in the second game, Lin began to find his rhythm, perfectly placing his left-handed shots and giving Chen no openings. In the third game, Chen completely ran out of answers and Lin finished 9-21, 21-17, 21-11.

"My performance last year was not ideal and I was under a lot of pressure and even doubted myself,” Lin told reporters after the match. “"But here in Malaysia, I was determined to play well and was hungry for victory … I think the bad times are over.”

Lin was presented his winnings by his good friend and rival, Lee Chong Wei (MYS). The pair spoke briefly on the podium about Lee’s return and agreed that they both hoped to meet on court again soon. Lee recently posted about Lin Dan on social media, saying “To be able to compete with him in Tokyo 2020 would be a dream come true.”

Full match results

 

Lin Dan: VOLTRIC Lin Dan-Force, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION COMFORT Z

YONEX All England Open 2019: Viktor Axelsen and Kento Momota Set Up Epic Finals Showdown!

Viktor Axelsen

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom – The men’s singles finals at the YONEX All England Open 2019 will be a dramatic #TeamYonex faceoff between Viktor Axelsen (DEN) and Kento Momota (JPN).

Axelsen pulled off a stunning upset over second-seeded Shi Yuqi of China. After trading point for point in the first game, Axelsen eventually won 22-20, only to lose the second game by a margin of 21-13. But in the third game, Axelsen came back to life, his shots and smashes expertly placed, to which Shi could find no answers to. Axelsen eventually booked his spot in the finals with 22-20, 13-21, 21-9.

Momota got off to a slow start, falling behind 4-10 early in the first game to Hong Kong’s Ng Ka Long Angus. But just when his engines appeared to be revved up, he reversed the lead to 18-14. Angus came back to tie things up at 18 all. Momota would eventually escape the first game 21-19, but from there he never really looked back, winning 21-19, 21-11. Axelsen and Momota have met 12 times in their careers, with Momota holding a 10-2 advantage.

The first match of the day was in women’s doubles, where World Champions Mayu Matsumoto (JPN) and Wakana Nagahara (JPN) made short work of compatriots Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto. Though the two pairs enjoyed some long rallies, Matsumoto and Nagahara got off to a comfortable lead in both games and the 21-11, 21-12 result never really seemed in question.

In mixed doubles, last year’s All England champions Yuta Watanabe (JPN) and Arisa Higashino (JPN) decisively booked their chance to defend their title in tomorrow’s final. They only needed 37 minutes to ease past Malaysian pair Goh Soon Huat and Lai Shevon Jemie, 21-16, 21-13.

For full round results go here.

Viktor Axelsen DUORA Z-STRIKE, AEROBITE BOOST, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Kento Momota ASTROX 99, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Mayu Matsumoto DUORA 10, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION COMFORT Z WIDE
Wakana Nagahara ASTROX 88 S, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Yuta Watanabe DUORA Z-STRIKE, BG66 ULTIMAX, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Arisa Higashino NANOFLARE 700, BG66 ULTIMAX

Yonex and Badminton England Extend All England Open Partnership Through 2025

Yonex & Badminton England Partner Through 2025

Having been the title sponsor of the All England Badminton Championships for 36 consecutive years, Yonex Co., Ltd. has reached an agreement with Badminton England to extend the sponsorship through 2025, which will make it 42 consecutive years. The extension was announced at a press conference at this year’s All England tournament, currently underway. 

The YONEX All England Open is regarded as the one of the most prestigious tournaments in badminton, having been the stage for some of the most memorable matches and moments involving the world’s greatest players, and is expertly run and organized. Yonex chairman Ben Yoneyama stated that it was for these reasons that Yonex has sponsored the world-leading championship for so many years, and provided it with best-in-class gear and the highest quality shuttlecocks. He stated that it is the combined goal of Yonex and Badminton England to ensure that the YONEX All England Open remains at the pinnacle of the world’s top championships. 

“It is very important the YONEX All England retains its traditions while also continuing to improve on its flagship position. Its exposure and presentation, both live and through media coverage, is vital to not only achieving this, but also in its contribution to the development of badminton throughout the world. I would encourage everyone involved in the media to make an even greater effort to “shout about” the YONEX All England and the great sport of badminton,” he said.

YONEX All England Open 2019: #TeamYonex Advances in all Five Categories of the Quarterfinals

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom ­– While there were quite a few surprises on the first day of the 109th YONEX All England Open, Team Yonex demonstrated its depth and strength, pushing through serious contenders in all five categories. The field especially favors the Japan national team, as they line up an opportunity to sweep the tournament.

Leading things off in women’s singles, Akane Yamaguchi (JPN), the 4th seed at this year’s event faced off against 6th seed, He Bingjao of China. Bingjao managed to stretch it to three games, but was unable to come up with answers for Yamaguchi being able to reach seemingly anyhere on the court, winning 21-16, 19-21, 21-12.

In men’s singles, World No. 1 Kento Momota (JPN) made short work of 7th seeded Srikanth Kidambi (IND). In 44 minutes, Momota booked his spot in tomorrow’s semifinals, 21-12, 21-16. Viktor Axelsen (DEN) is also moving on and won in straight games though his countryman Jan O. Jorgensen made a match of it, 23-21, 21-18.

Team Yonex and the Japanese national team showed off their true depth in women’s doubles. The first victory of the day went to Shiho Tanaka (JPN) and Koharu Yonemoto (JPN). It took only 48 minutes to get past Indonesian pair Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani and Rizki Amelia Pradipta, 21-16, 21-17. Compatriots and reigning World Champions Mayu Matsumoto (JPN) and Wakana Nagahara (JPN) took nearly twice as long to knock off China’s Li Wenmei and Zheng Yu, as they overcame a second game reversal, to win 21-17, 17-21, 21-18. In the final game of the night, World No. 1 pair Yuki Fushima (JPN) and Sayaka Hirota (JPN) faced fellow Team Yonex pair and sisters Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva. After exchanging leads and eventually losing the first game, looking uncharacteristically vulnerable, they had to fight for every point in their 17-21, 21-15, 21-19 victory.

In men’s doubles, the frenetic energy of Keigo Sonoda (JPN) and Takeshi Kamura (JPN) proved far too much to handle for the 7th seeds from China, Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong. In just over half an hour, they were dispatched to the tune of 21-12, 21-17. Indonesian pair Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Riuan Ardianto battled through a close first game with Malaysians (and newly returned to Team Yonex) Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong, but pulled away in the second to win 22-20, 21-12 in straight games.

While in mixed doubles, rising stars Yuta Watanabe (JPN) and Arisa Higashino (JPN) continued their hot streak from last year. They fought through two close games to prevail over Tontowi Ahmad and Winny Oktavina Kandow of Indonesia, 24-22, 21-19. With their win, Watanabe and Higashino give Japan a chance to sweep all five categories.

For full round details, go here

Akane Yamaguchi ASTROX 77, BG66 ULTIMAX, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Kento Momota ASTROX 99, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Viktor Axelsen DUORA Z-STRIKE, AEROBITE BOOST, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Shiho Tanaka NANOFLARE 700, NANOGY 95, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Koharu Yonemoto NANOFLARE 700, BG80 POWER, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Mayu Matsumoto DUORA 10, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION COMFORT Z WIDE
Wakana Nagahara ASTROX 88 S, AEROBITE, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Yuki Fukushima ASTROX 88 D, NANOGY 95, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Sayaka Hirota ASTROX 88 S, NANOGY 95, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Keigo Sonoda ASTROX 88 D,  NANOGY 95, POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Fajar Alfian ASTROX 88 D, BG80, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Muhammad Rian Ardianto ASTROX 88 S, BG65, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Takeshi Kamura ASTROX 88 S, AEROBITE BOOST, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Yuta Watanabe DUORA Z-STRIKE, BG66 ULTIMAX, POWER CUSHION 65 Z
Arisa Higashino NANOFLARE 700, BG66 ULTIMAX

Seo Seung Jae & Chae Yu Jung Use NANOFLARE 700 to Victory! Yonex German Open

The finals in each division at the Yonex German Open were held on March 3rd. Using the NANOFLARE 700, mixed doubles pair Seo Seung Jae (KOR) and Chae Yu Jung (KOR) defeated the 11th-ranked Indonesian pair in straight sets, 21-17, 21-11. On the heels of their Spain Masters victory, this is their second championship in many weeks.

For the women's singles finals, Ratchanok Intanon (THA) and Akane Yamaguchi (JPN) had a fierce battle with the matching lasting for one hour and ten minutes. Yamaguchi tenaciously prevailed in a comeback victory of 16-21, 21-14, 25-23, making this her third straight championship at this tournament. Intanon, who wields the NANOFLARE 700.

Ratchanok Intanon:NANOFLARE 700BG65TIPOWER CUSHION AERUS 3 WOMENS

Seo Seung Jae:NANOFLARE 700BG80POWER CUSHION COMFORT Z

Chae Yu Jung:BG80POWER CUSHION AERUS 3 WOMENS

Akane Yamaguchi

Dueling Victories for the New NANOFLARE 700 at the Barcelona Spain Masters 2019

BARCELONA, Spain — Yonex’s new convention-defying headlight racquet made its debut this past week at the Barcelona Spain Masters 2019, wielded by two different #TeamYonex athletes, who both took home a gold and a silver, both against each other, in two different categories.  

In the first match of the day, mixed doubles, Seo Seung Jae (KOR), carrying the NANOFLARE 700 in blue/green and Chae Yu Jung (KOR) faced off against Wang Chi-Lin (TWN), wielding the red 700 and Cheng Chi Ya. In straight games, Seo and Chae captured victory, 21-18, 21-15. But in men’s doubles, Wang had his revenge. There, along with partner Lee Yang, was victorious over Seo and partner, Kim Won Ho, 21-8, 23-21, ensuring that Wang and Seo both went home with a gold and a silver, just in different categories.

In men’s singles, Victor Axelsen (DEN) made a return to form, where he defeated red-hot fellow Dane Anders Antonsen soundly, 21-14, 21-11. While in women’s doubles, Korean pair Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong outlasted Japan’s Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida, 23-21, 15-21, 21-17.

For full match results, go here.

Wang Chi Lin NANOFLARE 700BG80POWER CUSHION AERUS 3 
Viktor Axelsen DUORA Z-STRIKEAEROBITE BOOSTPOWER CUSHION 65 Z
Seo Seung Jae NANOFLARE 700BG80POWER CUSHION COMFORT Z
Chae Yu Jung BG80POWER CUSHION AERUS 3 
Kim So Yeong ASTROX 88 DBG80POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Kong Hee Yong DUORA 10 LTBG80POWER CUSHION AERUS 3

Indonesia Masters 2019: Victory for Kevin Sukamuljo/Marcus Gideon

JAKARTA, Indonesia - The finals of the Indonesian Masters were held on January 27th, with Marcus F. Gideon (INA) and Kevin S. Sukamuljo (INA) defeating Mohammad Assan and Hendra Setiawan in the men's doubles, following last week’s Malaysian Masters with their second victory of the season.

Gideon and Sukamuljo won in straight sets, 21-17, 21-11. The pair’s winning streak continues the great success of last season’s eight victories on the world tour. Sukamuljo, who entered the local competition using a new string, AEROBITE BOOST, commented, "I'm delighted to have had consecutive wins in Malaysia and Indonesia. The AEROBITE BOOST strings allow me to hit both technical shots and powerful shots. With it, I’m going to keep on winning."

In the women’s doubles, the pairing of Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) and Misaki Matsumoto (JPN) faced Kim So Yeong & Kong Hee Yoong (KOR). Takahashi and Matsumoto won 21-19, 21-15. Displaying the ability that has made them the queens of the World Tour Finals, this was their first victory of the season.

The women's singles final was a showdown between two Yonex players, Saina Nehwal (IND) and Carolina Marin (ESP). With Marin forced to retire early due to injury, Nehwal nabbed her first victory in two years and seven months since the Australian Open in 2016.

Kevin S. Sukamuljo: ASTROX 88 SAEROBITE BOOSTPOWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Marcus F. Gideon: ASTROX 88 DBG65 TITANIUMPOWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Ayaka Takahashi: DUORA7BG80 POWERPOWER CUSHION 65 Z LADIES
Saina Nehwal: ASTROX 99AEROBITEPOWER CUSHION AERUS 3 LADIES

Malaysia Masters 2019: Newly-Signed Son Wan Ho leads Team Yonex Sweep!

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — It was an outstanding showing for #TeamYonex at this year’s Malaysia Masters, as they performed a clean sweep of all five categories, taking home gold in each, as well as three silvers.

Son Wan Ho (KOR), whose national team signed with Yonex on the first of this month, carried the momentum of a strong finish to the 2018 season to claim his first title of 2019. Ho defeated World No. 4 Chen Long (CHN) in straight sets, 21-17, 21-19.

In women’s singles, Ratchanok Intanon (THA) defended her win at last year’s Malaysian Masters against world champion Carolina Marin (ESP). After Intanon breezed through the first set, Marin fought her way back in the second and very nearly forced a third game, but the Thai superstar was in top form and wouldn’t be denied, winning 21-9, 22-20.

High-flying men’s doubles pair Kevin S. Sukamuljo and Marcus F. Gideon (INA) didn't show any signs of slowing after their red hot 2018 season. The World No. 1s rolled past Malysia’s Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, 21-15, 21-16.

Meanwhile, Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota (JPN), who also enjoyed an outstanding 2018 season and sit atop the women’s doubles world rankings, proved too much to handle for Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu. Though they showed a rare moment of vulnerability and dropped the first game, the Japanese pair returned to form in the second and sealed the victory 18-21, 21-16, 21-16.

Japan had another victory in mixed doubles from Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino. They came from behind in two straight games to beat Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai, 21-18, 21-18.

Full match results

Son Wan Ho: VOLTRIC GLANZBG80POWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Ratchanok Intanon: ASTROX 77BG65 TITANIUMPOWER CUSHION AEURUS 3 LADIES
Kevin S. Sukamuljo: ASTROX 88 SAEROBITE BOOSTPOWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Marcus F. Gideon: ASTROX 88 DBG65 TITANIUMPOWER CUSHION AERUS 3
Yuta Watanabe: DUORA Z-STRIKEBG66 ULTIMAXPOWER CUSHION 65 Z
Arisa Higashino: VOLTRIC FBBG66 ULTIMAX