Credit: Badmintonphoto

BEC Time Travel: French Open 2014

10/25/2020 7:50 AM | |  Rasmus Bech(BEC)

This week the French Open would have taken place. Due to the Covid-19 situation the tournament has been cancelled, and instead of covering the tournament live, Badminton Europe looks back at previous editions of the tournament. Today we will be taking a look at the 2014 edition featuring the winner Mathias Boe.

Just 15 minutes from the Eiffel Tower by car you find the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, the venue which hosted the World Championships in 2011 and since 2007, has been home of the Super Series (later World Tour) tournament, the French Open.

After a one-year break, the French Open was back on track being part of the newly launched BWF Super Series, and Danes Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen participated in the first edition of the updated tournament.

Hard opening
After winning titles on the BEC Circuit and finishing second at the 2006 European Championships, it was time for the Danes to make the big breakthrough, but it was not love at first sight in Paris.

- The very first time we entered the French Open the lightning was the standard lightning of the venue and not the TV setup, which we see today. It was hard to see the shuttle when you were in the defence, and the venue did not suit us, Mathias Boe stated.

- We lost in the first round, and we were thinking: this will never be a favourite tournament for us. But I can for sure say it all turned up side down.

Tough draw
Fast forward seven years to the French Open 2014. Four years earlier the Danes won the French Open for the first time at a tournament, where many of the stronger men’s doubles pair did not enter. In 2014, Boe and Mogensen entered the tournament as the top seeds, but a tough draw did not give the Danes any easy tasks on the way to the finals.

Beating the defending Olympic and four times World Champion Cai Yun and his partner Lu Kai in the first round (25-23 21-17) and the reigning European Champions, Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov in the second round (21-19 21-13), the Danes were pushed to the limit against Chai Biao and Hong Wei from China in the quarterfinals.

The Danes overcame the Chinese pair winning 21-15 18-21 21-15, before beating Andrei Adistia and Hendra Gunawan, Indonesia, in the semifinals 21-7 21-18.

Golden moment

On Sunday 26 October 2014, Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe faced All England finalists, Kenichi Hayakawa and Hiroyuki Endo in a match, most fans remember, if they watched it.

- They were a great pair, and Endo is still a very good player, but they were a pair we liked to play against - especially in finals. We saw it was the best possible opponents in a final, Boe said.

- In general, they did not like the way we played and mentally it seemed like we had the upper hand already before going into the final. When we had our game up and running with the steep smashes and the steep angles and taking out the pace from the centre and backcourt, it did not fit them, and especially Hayakawa often had a hard time creating opportunities against us, and this was also the case in the French Open final in 2014, he added.

Big win
The Danes lost the first game 18-21 but bounced back to an impressive win 21-9 21-7 securing their third title of the year. 

- When you are on court with a big lead, you of course celebrate when you win, but it is not like it is a surprise to anyone. If you have such a big lead, of course the celebration becomes more relaxed. In the later stage of the partnership of Carsten and I, we told each other to do a proper celebration, because happiness and passion for the sport were a big part of our game, and people should see that, the left-handed doubles star stated.

- A Super Series title is a title, which you are proud of no matter how you win it.

A special win

Two years later, in 2016, Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe again were on top in Paris. It had been two difficult years for the Danish duo, with Carsten Mogensen suffering from an intracranial aneurysm and the following rehabilitation. But in autumn 2016, the Danes were on their way back to the top position of the world ranking.

In the 2016 French Open final, Boe and Mogensen beat Bodin Issara and Nipitphon Puangpuapech from Thailand 19-21 21-18 before the Thai withdraw from the final trailing 3-0.

- Right after the final, I had that feeling that is was not a cool way to win it. The final was a bit like the 2014 finals, but of course it is a special feeling winning like that. On the other hand, you would rather win 3-0 than playing the full game and lose. But first and foremost, this was our first big win after Carsten’s accident, and this outshines it all.

Paris was a priority
What started as a tough relationship between Mathias Boe and the French Open turned out to be a great story. Now retired, Mathias Boe can look back at three French Open titles and four finals in total in the “City of Light”

- Paris is an outstanding city and the Parisiens loves sport despite unfortunately not being much involved in badminton, but they honour the sport and the athletes, and the atmosphere is always great, Boe mentioned.

- French Open has been a highlight on the tour for me, and it has been a priority for us.

Winners of the French Open 2014

MS: Chou Tien Chen (Chinese Taipei)

WS: Wang Shixian (China)

MD: Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (Denmark)

WD: Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli (China)

XD: Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia)

See all the results from French Open here 

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