At this year’s YONEX/OCBC US Open Championships, Sapsiree Taerattanachai (VTZF, SHB01LTD) became the first woman from Thailand to win this prestigious tournament. At this year’s tournament, each event division title was won by a different nation. The Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda duo of Japan won the men’s doubles title, while Lee Chun Hei (VTZF, SHB01LTD Chau Hoi Wah (NR800) of Hong Kong took the mixed doubles title. Vietnam claimed the men’s singles title and China took the women’s doubles title.
Sapsiree faced two Japanese opponents — No. 7 seed Kaori Imabeppu (ARC11) in the semifinal, and Yuka Kusunose (NS9900) in the final. Kaori defeated No. 2 seed Yip Pui Yin (ARC11) in the quarterfinal and Yuka won the semifinal against No. 1 seed Nichaon Jindapon (VT70), proving Japan’s ever- increasing dominance in badminton. Hailing from Thailand, the other powerhouse of badminton, Sapsiree earned 42 winners against Yuka and obtained her first ever Grand Prix Gold title with a final score of 21-12 21-13.
No. 1 seed duo Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda met the No. 7 seed duo Jui Wei Liang/Kuan Hao Liao from Chinese Taipei. After taking the first game 21-16, Takeshi and Keigo faced game point at 20-19, but managed to win a close match of 27-25 in the end.
The legendary Tony Gunawan (ARC10) participated in the Mixed Doubles event with Eva Lee, facing the No. 1 seed Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah duo in the quarterfinal. Being a former world champion in men’s doubles, Tony demonstrated great skill. Chun Hei and Hoi Wah, however, were able to rival his skill throughout the match with a quick yet powerful mode of attack, beating him and Lee 21-18 21-12. In the final, Chun Hei/Hoi Wah went on to defeat Wang Yilv/Yaqiong Huang—a duo also from China—with a score of 21-8 21-14.
Tournament Results - Finals
Tien Minh Nguyen (VIE) def. Wong Wing Ki (HKG) 18-21 21-17 21-18
 Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (JPN) def. Jui Wei Liang/Kuan Hao Liao (TPE) 21-16 27-25
Bao Yixin/Zhong Qianxin (CHN) def. Xiaohan Yu/Yaqiong Huang (CHN) 21-17 24-22
*Taerattanachai’s image is from Thailand Open 2013.
Image of Lee/Chau is from the Asia Championships 2013.