Jonatan Christie secured the biggest title of his career by taking the BWF French Open 2023 in Rennes on Sunday (29 October).
The fifth seed beat Li Shifeng 16-21, 21-15, 21-14 for his first BWF World Tour Super 750 triumph and became Indonesia’s first French Open men’s singles winner since Taufik Hidayat in 2010.
Li made a fast start, attacking with great precision to race into a 9-3 lead. And despite Christie closing to within two after the mid-game break, the reigning All England champion won four points without converting his second game point after 25 minutes of play.
The shuttler from the People’s Republic of China looked on the brink of victory when he took an 11-9 advantage into the second mid-game interval, but Christie raised his game to win eight of the next 10 points on his way to levelling the match.
The decider was nip and tuck, but Christie won four consecutive points from 11-11 with Li taking an awkward slip on the last of those before having his left knee treated with cold spray.
While his movement did not appear to be inhibited, Christie reeled off the next three points for an 18-11 lead. A 422 kilometre-per-hour smash moved him to within two points of victory, and a return winner saw him wrap up proceedings in an hour and 20 minutes.
It was the 26-year-old’s third title of 2023 after victories in the Super 500 Indonesia Masters and Hong Kong Open.
Earlier, Chen Yufei again got the better of Tai Tzu Ying in a thrilling rematch of their Tokyo 2020 women’s singles final.
The Chinese came on strong at the end of the first game, and just had the edge in the second as she won 21-17, 22-20 in 52 minutes to make it back-to-back titles for the Olympic champion after her Denmark Open success last weekend.
China had won the first three finals played on Sunday with Jiang Zhenbang and Wei Yaxin taking the mixed doubles, and Liu Shengshu and Tan Ning the women’s doubles.