INDONESIA OPEN 2010 Preview – When China’s away…

Taufik Hidayat (pictured) leads the Indonesian charge for gold at the 2010 Djarum Indonesia Open Super Series, the first China-less Open in nine years.  The action gets started with a […]

Taufik Hidayat (pictured) leads the Indonesian charge for gold at the 2010 Djarum Super Series, the first China-less Open in nine years.  The action gets started with a whole load of grudge matches from last week, as several top seeds will be looking to regain some championship face in front of Jakarta’s legendary crowds.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto

With even last week’s token Chinese contingent not making the trip to Indonesia this week, the rest of the badminton world will be eager to capitalize.  However, they would do well to remember one recent occasion when China did not show and the home team swept all five golds.  The chances of such a repeat performance may be slim but Indonesia is still likely to be fired up to erase the memory of their zero gold take of 2009.

5 for Indonesia?  Or 7 for Taufik?

One major difference from the Singapore Open draw will be the substitution of one second-seeded father of two for another as Taufik Hidayat, whose wife gave birth a second time last week, takes Peter Gade’s spot as number two.  Taufik will, of course, be looking for his seventh home title and he will also be keen to help the local fans forget his rather tame loss to Lee Chong Wei at last year’s edition.

First things first, though, and Lee Chong Wei will have both Singapore Open finalists, Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Boonsak Ponsana, in his half of the draw.  Even before he can challenge one of them, he’ll have to score another win over rising star Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka, one of two players who pushed Lee to three games last week.

Taufik won’t have it easy, either, with Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen and Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam, and surprise Singapore Super Series semi-finalist Kashyap Parupalli in the mix.  Also there for the home team will be Simon Santoso and Andre Tedjono Kurniawan.

Indonesian women get a chance at a longshot

Despite some promising upsets in recent years, women’s singles remains the biggest longshot for Indonesia and that title has not stayed home since the historic sweep of 2001.  Maria Kristin Yulianti, who came closest in recent memory with a runner-up finish two years ago, is still not fully fit and she will have to fight through qualifying again this week.  20-year-old Maria Febe Kusumastuti (pictured below) will be glad she does not have to face Pi Hongyan in the first round for a third straight year but she is still in the same quarter as defending champion Saina Nehwal of India, who is on a roll after consecutive titles in Chennai and Singapore.

The bottom quarter is left wide open by the absence of its two seeded entries but Korea’s Bae Youn Joo will have to temper her relief at not having to play Pi Hongyan in the first round with the knowledge that she might have to face Taiwan teen Tai Tzu Ying once again.  Korea’s other hope, Sung Ji Hyun (pictured above), will get her first shot at Saina Nehwal in the first round and Indonesia’s Adriyanti Firdasari may have a rematch against Zhou Mi if she can get past the towering Kim Moon Hi.

Women’s doubles with unexpected contenders

Indonesia’s women’s doubles teams put in a good showing last week in Singapore but Vita Marissa, who was part of the only two local pairs to win this title this millennium, is again paired with Thailand’s Saralee Thoungthongkam and they will be hoping to do better than their second round finish of last week.  However, if they can get past second-seeded Japanese pair Fuji/Kakiiwa, they will probably again be facing Korea’s Ha/Jung.  The team to beat though, now, is going to be the Singapore Open champions, even if Indonesian-born Shinta Mulia Sari is unlikely to get crowd support in her erstwhile homeland.

Meanwhile, top-seeded Japanese pair Satoko Suetsuna / Miyuki Maeda (pictured) would love to bounce back from their second-round drubbing last week but in the top half of the draw, they will be besieged by all four of Indonesia’s top pairs, in addition to last week’s finalists Lee/Kim, who trounced the Japanese pair in the Uber Cup semi-final.

Mixed doubles all about the payback

Nova Widianto and Lilyana Natsir are the logical bets to retake the home title they last won in 2005, before the onset of four straight years of Chinese mixed doubles domination in Jakarta.  However, also waiting to step into the void are, of course, Singapore Open and World Champions Laybourn/Rytter Juhl of Denmark as well as the whole set of upset seeds from last week, including Ha Jung Eun / Ko Sung Hyun (pictured) of Korea.  Widianto/Natsir’s first test may well come from yet another pairing involving Flandy Limpele, who is this year partnering Lotte Jonathans of the Netherlands.  Laybourn/Rytter Juhl, meanwhile, will begin their campaign with a first-round rematch versus fellow Europeans Clark/Olver.

Once again, some dangerous pairs are expected to come through qualifying to trouble the top seeds and third seeds Mateusiak/Zieba could find themselves up against Kim/Jung, Ahmad/Polii could be pestering Laybourn/Rytter Juhl, Kido/Nurlita could test seventh-seeded Shin/Lee and Setiawan/Russkikh could emerge in the same segment as Kim/Yoo and Anugritayawon/Voravichitchaikul.

Men’s doubles:  More early tests for top seeds

Men’s doubles is, of course, one of Indonesia’s traditional strengths.  The trouble is that it is a traditional strength for Korea, Malaysia, and Denmark, too, so even without a team from China, which has taken its fair share of men’s doubles titles in recent years, taking the title back will be no mean feat for the home team.  With Lee Yong Dae’s injury, neither of last year’s finalists have returned and Denmark’s two top pairs are also missing.  However, top seeds Koo/Tan have to start off with a tricky fixture against a pair of former champions in Candra Wijaya / Luluk Hadiyanto (pictured).  Should they emerge from that tussle, they might be in for a quarter-final rematch with the Swiss Open champions, including Yoo Yeon Seong, who may by then have recovered from the fever that afflicted him during the Singapore Open semi-finals.

2005 champions and no. 2 seeds Kido/Setiawan have their own rematch with Singapore Open champions Fang/Lee of Chinese Taipei, with the winners very likely to face another returning champion in Tony Gunawan who, with Howard Bach, is still on a roll after their runner-up finish in Singapore on Sunday.

Badzine will be on site in Jakarta to bring you live photos of the action, along with on-the-scene reports so stay tuned with us!

To view the complete draws for the 2010 Djarum Indonesia Open Super Series, CLICK HERE

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @