Lee Cheuk Yiu Shines in India Open 2024: A Fairy Tale Journey to the Finals

Trang Napie

Sun Jan 28 2024

Lee Cheuk Yiu
India Open
BWF World Tour
Super 750
Hong Kong
Tai Tzu Ying
Chen Yu Fei
Zhang Shuxian
Zheng Yu
Jiang Zhenbang
Wei Yaxin
Kang Min-hyuk
Seo Seung-jae
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy
Chirag Shetty

Lee Cheuk Yiu from Hong Kong, China, showcased his improved physicality and exceptional patience as he advanced to the finals of the HSBC BWF World Tour Super 750 at the India Open 2024. After a grueling 84-minute match against Kodai Naraoka, Lee Cheuk Yiu's relentless determination and unfaltering spirit led him to a hard-fought victory of 21-13, 15-21, 21-19. This win speaks volumes about the qualities he has added to his game.

Lee Cheuk Yiu's remarkable qualities were evident in the semifinals held on January 20th at the India Open 2024. Naraoka pushed the match to an advantageous position in the third game, making it within his reach to defeat his opponent. However, Lee Cheuk Yiu embraced the challenge, accelerating at the right moments and fearlessly engaging in rallies as Naraoka tested his endurance.

At 19-20, with four match points in favor of Lee Cheuk Yiu, he faltered due to anxiety, allowing Naraoka to catch up. Sitting slumped near his coach and anxiously staring at the screen, Lee Cheuk Yiu's moment of triumph seemed under threat. Yet, his next shot secured the ultimate victory, triggering the subsequent celebrations.

"I was really nervous in the end. The last point is always a test, and I was genuinely scared looking at the screen. I hoped it was the winning point. This is my first Super 750 final, so I'm really excited," expressed Lee Cheuk Yiu. "I tried not to think too much. Just run. Just hit every shot. Trust yourself and your coach. I've been performing really well in the last three matches, surprising myself. I still haven't reached my limit. In this tournament, I performed better, but I think I can be even better and stronger. I still feel like this is not enough; I haven't reached that level, but now I'm starting to feel it." He will compete for the championship alongside Shi Yu Qi, the sixth-ranked player from China, who easily defeated the home star Prannoy Haseena Sunil Kumar with a score of 21-15, 21-5.

In the women's singles, Tai Tzu Ying secured her place in the third consecutive finals with a comfortable victory of 21-13, 21-18 against Yeo Jia Min from Singapore. The former world number one from Chinese Taipei will face Chen Yu Fei in the final. Both players are vying for their first-ever India Open title. Despite her loss to Tai Tzu Ying, Yeo Jia Min remains optimistic: "My attitude towards every challenge has changed. I'm now really excited whenever I face top players. I want to give my all in every match and always seek to push myself through every score."

China also had representatives in the finals of the women's and mixed doubles events. In the women's doubles, Zhang Shuxian and Zheng Yu fought for 88 minutes to overcome fellow compatriots Li Wenmei and Liu Xiangxuan with a score of 19-21, 21-17, 21-18. Meanwhile, in the mixed doubles, Jiang Zhenbang and Wei Yaxin defeated Kim Won-ho and Jeong Na-eun from Korea with a score of 21-19, 21-18 in the semifinals.

In the men's doubles, the world champions Kang Min-hyuk and Seo Seung-jae from South Korea prevailed against Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi from Japan with a score of 21-19, 21-14. Also, the Indian pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik from Malaysia with a score of 21-18, 21-14. Notably, Chirag Shetty accidentally hit Aaron Chia in the eye during the second game, reminiscent of when Mathias hit him in Shetty's own eye a few days ago. Shetty expressed remorse for the incident and hoped for Chia's speedy recovery, acknowledging how it might have changed the dynamics of the match.

Lee Cheuk Yiu's remarkable journey to the finals of the India Open 2024 highlights his improved physicality and unyielding determination. With his thrilling performance and incredible qualities on display, badminton enthusiasts can expect an enthralling battle for the championship. The India Open has witnessed exceptional talent from various players, creating an atmosphere charged with excitement and anticipation.