In Focus

An Se-Young – A Teenage Sensation, Living up to her Promise

By: Editor
Date: 05 Feb, 2021
Image Courtesy: BWF
Carolina Marin & Tai Tzu Ying made all the three finals in Bangkok, and rightfully took all the honours at the Asian leg of the BWF World Tour. But if there had to be another singles player that deserves all the accolades that came her way then it ought to be the young South Korean sensation An Se-Young. An made the semi-finals of each of the events and lost only to Carolina or Tai Tzu on each occasion.

And it wasn’t like she was walloped in any match. Each time she gave a tough fight to these champions. At the HSBC World Tour Finals, she even managed to overcome Carolina Marin in a tightly fought third singles tie – Carolina’s first defeat of the season at that point in time. In fact, the Spanish sensation hadn’t even lost a game by that point to be fair. The second game An played against Carolina that evening was by far the most commanding game anyone has in a long time against the Olympic champion.

"I'm really happy as I have shed a lot of tears here," said a visibly emotional South Korean at the end of the match against Carolina. 

That she can consistently hold her game and win against top quality opposition, she says has been because of the fact that she now regularly plays these top players. And has been able to learn from her opponents. 

"There are many things I have learned from Marin and I adapted to those things as I was playing the match," she added in the interview following the scalp of Marin.

Not just Marin, in the three weeks at Bangkok, An Se-Young had the better of several top rung players including – Michelle Li, Ratchanok Intanon, Pornpawee Chouchuwong and others. Clearly the teenager is hardly afraid of the big stage, or the big game.

A testament to her prowess is what her opponent and fellow Top 10-star Ratchanok Intanon said after her loss to the young prodigy in the quarterfinals of the Yonex Thailand Open.

“Every shot was incredible, and she won on her own game,” said Ratchanok, clearly making no bones about the fact that An Se had outplayed her more illustrious and experienced opponent on the day.

Voted, Most Promising Player in 2019, An Se is still a teenager, celebrating her 19th Birthday today – and yet over the last two seasons she has had the measure of some of the top ranked players across the globe. I personally had the first glimpse of the South Korean star in the Hyderabad Open 2019, where she narrowly missed out on the title against Yeo Jia Min of Singapore. And although she had lost the title that afternoon, she clearly had marked herself out for greater things to come.

Eighteen months later, half of which have been under a global pandemic and lockdown, An Se-Young is clearly living up to her potential. Her game has developed well, she’s a lot more confident and certainly she plays the big points with a far more matured head than most. And the way she has excelled on the big stage, she will surely be one of the contenders for the top honours in one of Badminton’s busiest years to come.

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