Vietnamese badminton player proud of support at Germany Open

By Duc Dong   March 5, 2024 | 04:46 am PT
Vietnamese badminton player proud of support at Germany Open
Nguyen Thuy Linh during the final of Germany Open against Mia Blichfeldt on March 3, 2024. Photo by BWF
Despite losing the final of the 2024 German Open, Vietnam's top female badminton player Nguyen Thuy Linh was proud of the support received from Vietnamese and German fans.

Linh was the biggest surprise at the tournament in Germany, part of the World Tour Super 300 tournament system under the Badminton World Federation (BWF). On her way to the final, she defeated the second seed and former world number one, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, and then made a comeback to beat the third seed, South Korea’s Kim Ga-eun.

However, in the title match on Sunday evening, Linh could not beat the sixth seed, world number 22 Mia Blichfeldt. In that match, Linh made many errors, misfired and was unlucky before losing 11-21, 9-21.

"I'm a bit sad for missing the opportunity to win the title," Linh told VnExpress. "But reaching the final of such a major tournament is already a very special moment for me."

Besides the result, Linh was also impressed by the crowd at the Germany Open.

"Many overseas Vietnamese in Germany and nearby countries came to support me," she recalled. "The moment I stepped onto the court and knew that so many people were waiting for me was very special. Hearing my name called out along with the Vietnamese flag in the corner of the court was overwhelmingly emotional. I felt so proud."

However, in this match, Linh didn’t have support from the sidelines. In the quarterfinals and semifinals, she was in stellar form with the support of her colleague Laura Lam sitting in the coach's chair for encouragement and technical support. Lam, an American player of Chinese descent, lost to Linh in the round of 16.

"Lam flew to France to prepare for the upcoming tournament, so she couldn't accompany me in the final. But I'm very grateful to her for the valuable advice she has given me. I will try harder in the next tournaments," Linh said.

Linh is a rare case in badminton as she doesn’t have a coach when competing internationally, partly due to budget constraints and partly because this is an individual event, not a national duty, so she didn’t receive support from the Vietnam Badminton Federation.

By finishing as the runner-up, Linh earned 5,950 points on world ranking and $7,980 in prize money. This will ensure her return to the top 20 in the next ranking update of the BWF.

On Monday, Linh headed to Paris to compete in the French Open. This tournamen attracts the world's top players, such as world number one An Se-young, Chen Yu Fei (2nd) and Tai Tzu Ying (3rd).

Linh will face the world number 27 Wen Chi Hsu from Taiwan in the first round. If Linh wins, she is likely to face top seed An Se-young.

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