Gregoria Mariska Tunjung becomes first Indonesian women’s singles player to win BWF 500 or above title
The 24-year-old defeated China’s Chen Yu Fei to clinch the Kumamoto Japan Masters 2023 title.
Gregoria Mariska Tunjung has become the first Indonesian women’s singles player to win a BWF Super 500 or above title since the launch of the Superseries in 2007. Tunjung, 24, defeated China’s Chen Yu Fei to clinch the Kumamoto Japan Masters 2023 title and script history. It was a near-perfect performance from the Indonesian, who took the match in straight games (21-12, 21-12).
This was her third win in 10 meetings against the Olympic champion Chen, who had otherwise looked in command throughout the BWF Super 500 tournament. But was no match against Mariska, whose near-perfect play finished the title clash in just 40 minutes with the Indonesian taking 11 of the last 12 points.
Having conceded the opening game, Chen held a 11-9 lead at the interval of the second game before Mariska breezed her way to a maiden title in BWF Super 500 or above tournaments. The Indonesian won 12 out of the next 13 points on offer by making fine use of her badminton racket, hitting cross court shots with precision. Overall, this was second title in the BWF World Tour Calendar after the Spain Masters, a BWF Super 300 level tournament. She had beaten PV Sindhu to clinch her maiden title on the tour in April.
Gregoria Mariska Tunjung also finished runner-up at the 2022 Australian Open (Super 300) and 2023 Malaysia Masters (Super 500).
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Expressing her joy, she stated in an official release from the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) in Jakarta on Sunday, “I am very happy because this is my first champion title at the BWF Super 500 level; I cannot express it with words.”
Tunjung attributed her victory against the world’s No. 3 women’s singles player to maintaining composure during the match. Her heightened motivation stemmed from dedicated practice made her well-prepared despite facing a formidable opponent. Gregoria Mariska Tunjung acknowledged that Chen Yufei’s mistakes boosted her confidence, reinforcing her belief that she could effectively counter any challenges thrown her way.
The third-seeded Chen, who is the Tokyo Olympics champion had ended the 31-match unbeaten streak of South Korean top-seed An Se Young in the semifinals.