‘Healthy Ahn Se-Young is invincible’ wins second consecutive title

Once again, there was no stopping the healthy Ahn Se-young (22-Samsung Life Insurance). She once again defeated her former nemesis, Chen Yufei (CHN), to retain her place at the top of the world rankings.

The world No. 1 badminton women’s singles player defeated Chen Yuefei 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 21-12) in the final of the BWF World Tour Super 750 Singapore Open on Sunday in Singapore.

The defending champion defended her title from last year. Despite not being fully fit, she won her third title after winning the Malaysia Open in January and the French Open in March.

Two points shy of the world’s top ranking, Ahn reigned supreme last year as the world’s undisputed No. 1, winning 11 titles and turning the tables on her arch-enemies Chen Yufei and He Bingzhao (CHN).

Ahn, who also won gold in the team event at the Hangzhou Asian Games with a complete domination of Chen Yufei in the team event, was relentless in the singles despite being unable to jump properly due to a knee injury, and eventually immobilized Chen in the third set to claim a sensational double.

Late last year, Ahn was also named the BWF Female Player of the Year. “Until her emergence, the women’s singles was the most competitive of the five badminton disciplines,” the BWF said of Ahn’s year-long run, “and it’s rare to see a single player dominate the women’s singles in a field that includes multiple Olympic and World Championship winners.”

But the injury proved too costly. She took 40 days off to recover from the injury, and after recovering, she competed in three tournaments, but she was not the same player she was last year. She won the title in January, but then withdrew due to a thigh muscle injury, and her performance at the French Open in March was up and down depending on her physical condition, as she reached the top of the rankings, only to be knocked out in the semifinals again at the Korea Open.

On March 7, Ahn confessed on her Instagram account why. “There is still a lot of speculation about my injury, so I would like to clarify. I’m not sure if the article mentions something I didn’t say, but I’m under a lot of stress because of it,” she wrote, adding, ‘I’m sure you’re wondering why my injury hasn’t healed for so long.’

“After the Asian Games, I visited another hospital after the World Tour Finals in December (last year) because the pain was not decreasing, contrary to the diagnosis (at the checkup) that I could return to play after 2-6 weeks of rehabilitation,” he said. “They told me that my partial patellar tendon (knee) rupture would not heal in a 사설토토 short period of time, contrary to the initial diagnosis, and that I should stay on it as long as possible until the Olympics and adjust to the pain,” he explained.

“I will spend the rest of the time preparing for the Olympics so that I don’t have any regrets at the stage of the Olympics rather than the result,” he said. “I am receiving good treatment and working hard, so I hope that people will support and wait for me rather than worrying about my injury so that I can fulfill their expectations.”

That’s why it’s even more encouraging that she was able to defeat Chen Yufei with a complete performance rather than just a win.

Throughout the match, Ahn’s impeccable defense, jaw-dropping net play, and perfect diagonal attacks behind the defense were all on display.

With the score tied at 20-19, Ahn clinched the first game with a powerful smash after a net play.

After dropping game two, Ahn scored three straight points at 3-3 in game three and never trailed in the match. Her flawless defense at 19-10 was a particular highlight. Ahn fought off back-to-back attacks from Chen Yufei with her body, and after an unbelievable defense, Chen Yufei had an unguarded attacking opportunity, but was distracted by Ahn’s repeated defense and stepped out of line. Ahn pumped her fist in the air in celebration, while Chen Yufei was left devastated.

Ahn Seyoung was overcome with emotion for a moment, but then consoled Chen Yufei. Afterward, she performed her signature celebratory ceremony in front of the crowd.

“I heard a lot of stories about my injury and it was really hard for me, but I’m happy and glad that I was able to show my hard work,” Ahn said in an interview with the broadcasters.

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