SINGAPORE OPEN 2013 QF – Am-HAZE-ing Indonesians

Indonesia seems to have cast a cloud not only over Singapore but also over all their opponents in the Singapore Open quarter-finals, which went on amidst the thick layer of […]

Indonesia seems to have cast a cloud not only over Singapore but also over all their opponents in the quarter-finals, which went on amidst the thick layer of haze in Singapore at the moment. All survived but one pair of Indonesians beaten by compatriots.

By Serla Rusli, Badzine Correspondent live from Singapore Indoor Stadium. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

A few minutes before the kick-off of the quarter-finals, rumours were spreading as a meeting was being held to decide whether the event could go on. The Singaporean haze had broken records and the latest PSI was on everyone’s mouth, possibly affecting the players, but the event was still to go on – good news for quite a number of spectators who had gathered in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

One of the major upsets of the day happened to second seed and 2010 Singapore Open champion Saina Nehwal, as her attempt to clinch the title came to a halt when she was beaten by Indonesia’s Lindaweni Fanetri (pictured above), 17-21, 21-13, 21-13.

The two rivals had met just slightly over a week ago at the first round of Djarum Indonesia Open. In Jakarta, Lindaweni had to succumb to Saina’s prowess after a 73-minute battle. This time around, she was the one smiling at the other side of the court after yet another tight match and she advanced to her first semi-final – a stark improvement from her performance last year in Singapore, when she lost in the first round.

“Before the match, I had already mentally prepared myself that this was going to be a tiring one seeing how we played against each other in Jakarta. This time around, I had my coach tell me the tactics to play against Saina so I was more prepared. I made a lot of unforced errors in the first game but I took the wind advantage in the second game and attacked aggressively,” commented Linda in her post-match interview.

“I’m pleased with my performance, especially since this is so much better than how I did last year. I will take it one match at a time and see how far I can go.”

Making it to the semi-finals means that she has cracked open slightly the Great Wall of Chinese women’s singles shuttlers, being the only non-Chinese representative in the round. Next, she will have to face the formidable task of conquering fourth seed Wang Yihan to prevent an all-Chinese affair at the final as the other side of the draw will see compatriots Li Xuerui and Sun Yu battling for the other spot in the final.

Indonesia became the only country which has semi-finalists representing the country in all events. Tommy Sugiarto entered the semi-finals convincingly after beating English shuttler Rajiv Ouseph 21-19, 21-18. He will face Vietnamese Nguyen Tien Minh (pictured above) who clinched his second consecutive Singapore Open semi-final appearance after Marc Zwiebler had to retire from the match due to the thigh injury he sustained from his match against Du Pengyu the night before.

In the men’s doubles event, Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan ousted second-seeded Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa 21-15, 23-21. They will face reigning Olympics champions Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng (pictured above) who survived another Japanese duo 24-22, 21-14.

“I feel that it was a really good match earlier – in fact, it was the best match we have played so far in the tournament. Our form is getting better as the tournament progresses and hopefully we can make it into the finals,” said Fu Haifeng on his prospect in the semi-finals.

Indonesia will have two representatives each in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles events. Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth / Rizki Amelia Pradipta (pictured above) upset Chinese third seeds Ma Jin / Tang Jinhua in the longest match of the day, which ended in 21-19, 18-21, 24-22. They will face Misaki Matsutomo (pictured) and Ayaka Takahashi in the semi-finals. The duo of Nitya Krishinda Maheshwari / Greysia Polii marches on to the semi-finals after beating higher ranked Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na in 21-12, 22-20 and will face Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei next.

The mixed doubles pairing Tontowi Ahmad / Lilyana Natsir will unfortunately suffer from an all-Indonesian clash in the semi-finals against Praveen Jordan / Vita Marissa after they beat Chris Adcock / Gabrielle White from England  21-14, 21-7 and Muhammad Rijal / Debby Susanto in 21-17, 14-21, 21-13 respectively.

Koreans are already assured of two final spots as four pairs are to meet up in the semis, in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Click here for complete quarter-final results

About Serla Rusli