December 4, 2021

Japan’s Okuhara Nozomi ends two-year title drought with Denmark Open triumph

2 min read

Former world champion Nozomi Okuhara won her first title in two years with victory against Olympic champion Carolina Marin 21-19, 21-17 in the Denmark Open final. Okuhara had lost her previous seven finals, including the 2019 edition of the Denmark Open to Tai Tzu Ying. However, the Japanese was too strong for the Spaniard as she secured her first tournament victory since the 2018 Hong Kong Open.

“I decided to attend the Denmark Open because Marin was attending too, so I am happy I have reached the final and will be able to play against her,” said Okuhara. “I’m happy! Long time no see for a title! Compared to other opponents, Marin is faster and has a harder attack. I was focussed on defence and footwork, and my feet moved very well today.” Marin admitted she had made too many errors.

“I think the main reason was the mistakes I made. I made all the winners but also all the errors. The game was on me,” said the 27-year-old Spanish star. Nozomi came out on top without dropping a single game in the tournament. She is one of the few Japanese players who made the trip to Europe after officials pulled a number of top seed players. In the women’s singles, Nozomi ranked fourth in the world.

In the men’s final, Anders Antonsen and Rasmus Gemke will meet defeated his childhood friend Rasmus Gemke 18-21, 21-19, 21-12 to become the first Danish men’s singles winner in a decade at the tournament. In the men’s doubles final, England’s Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge defeated Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov 20-22, 21-17, 21-18 to take the title

Meanwhile, second-rank duo Fukushima Yuki and Hirota Sayaka beat Nagahara Wakana and Matsumoto Mayu, also from Japan, won the women’s doubles. Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich became the first German mixed doubles players to win a BWF World Tour Super 750 or Super Series event when they defeated Chris and Gabby Adcock of England 18-21, 21-11, 21-14 in the mixed doubles final.

The virus-hit Denmark Open, which restarted the international calendar after the seven-month forced hiatus caused by coronavirus, pushed through despite the absence of top-seed players including men’s singles World No. 1 Kento Momota and reigning world champion PV Sindhu. The BWF has allowed a maximum of 500 spectators daily into the Odense Sportspark following strict health protocols.