(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Glory for Toma Junior Popov
Date: 3/28/2021 4:57 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma
After winning in the SaarLorLux Open last year, Toma Junior Popov reigned supreme at the Orléans Masters today. It was his second Super 100 title and he kept up his impressive record of never losing in a final. 

It was a big day for Popov. The pressure to win at his home event showed as he trailed in the second half of the opener. He showed great fighting spirit as he saved two game points to win 23-21. That, in turn, as his brother Christo in the commentary box predicted, weighed down Mads Christophersen. The Dane faded away as Popov claimed the title in 44 minutes, breezing through 21-13 in the second game. 

Stoeva sisters settle for second silver
In the women’s doubles final, the second seeds Gabriela Stoeva/ Stefani Stoeva lost in straight games to the top seeds. After being upset by Pearly Tan/ Thinaah Muralitharan in Swiss Open, it was their second loss in a final this season. 

- Unfortunately, we lost in the final today. We know what to work on to be better next time. Thank you for all the support, they expressed. 
Jongkolphan Kititharakul/ Rawinda Prajongjai controlled the proceedings as they easily won the first game. The Stoevas briefly led in the second, but could not keep up the momentum. The Thai pair avenged their previous loss, winning 21-16, 21-16 in 43 minutes. 

Lessons for Christophersen
Having closed out her previous matches in double-quick time, Line Christophersen had her hands full against the Thai world number 13 Busanan Ongbamrungphan. It was a close affair in the beginning. Down 15-13, the Dane broke away as she scored seven successive points. In contrast, her opponent completely dominated the second game. 

Coming to the decider, Christophersen did well to maintain a narrow lead until 14-14. In the end, the Thai athlete's experience saw her through as she won 16-21, 21-15, 21-19. Indeed, playing against the best in the world will only give the young Dane the requisite experience, as she seeks glory at the highest level. 

Important win for Lane/ Vendy
The English pair of Ben Lane/ Sean Vendy came out of the shadow of their accomplished seniors Marcus Ellis/ Chris Langridge during the Asian Leg in January. By reaching the semifinals of the World Tour Finals in their first appearance, they established themselves as the pair to look out for in the future. Winning the Orléans Masters title was another step in the right direction. 

Similar to yesterday’s match, Lane/ Vendy had a slow start: they dropped the opening game, but won the second. The decider was for anyone’s taking. Up 19-18, the qualifiers Krishna Prasad Garaga/ Vishnu Vardhan Goud Panjala nearly completed a momentous upset. However, the world number 18s held their nerves, justifying their ranking 19-21, 21-14, 21-19. 

The seventh seeds triumph
In an all-Danish mixed doubles final, Mathias Christiansen/ Alexandra Bøje scored their third consecutive victory over Niclas Nøhr/ Amalie Magelund. It was an easy win for the seventh seeds 21-13, 21-17.   

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