THAILAND OPEN 2013 SF – All the ladies’ singles…are Thai

For the first time in the history of the SCG Thailand Open, a Thai woman is guaranteed to win the women’s singles title, as local favourites Ratchanok Intanon and Busanan […]

For the first time in the history of the SCG , a Thai woman is guaranteed to win the women’s singles title, as local favourites Ratchanok Intanon and Busanan Ongbamrungphan both won their semi-final matches on Saturday for the chance to play for the championship on Sunday in Bangkok.

By Gerald Jew, Badzine Correspondent, live in Bangkok.  Photos by Gerald Jew (live) and Badminton Photo (archives)

The Thailand Open began in 1984 and since its inception, no Thai women’s singles player has ever captured the title, but this year will be decidedly different as the world’s 5th-ranked Ratchanok Intanon (pictured) defeated Chinese Taipei’s 4th seeded Pai Hsiao Ma in two games.  Intanon will face 17-year-old team-mate Busanan Ongbamrungphan to compete for the title.  Ongbamrungphan beat Singapore’s 8th-seeded Gu Juan, who defeated top-seeded Saina Nehwal in the quarter-finals on Friday to help clear a path for the two Thai girls.

Intanon, who injured her foot before the recent Sudirman Cup said, “Because of my injury, I didn’t expect to win [the Thai Open], but now that I’m in the finals I hope to win.  I hope I can play well tomorrow.  Busanan is a very good player and it will be a very hard match.”

Intanon, who recently enrolled at Bangkok Thonburi University added, “I don’t really think about the injury during the matches, it doesn’t bother me too much.”

On the men’s singles side, top-seeded Boonsak Ponsana will be looking to add another Thai Open Championship to the one he captured in 2004.  Ponsana easily advanced to the finals with a convincing 21-9, 21-9 victory over Indonesia’s Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo.  He will face India’s Srikanth K.,  who defeated Thailand’s Thammasin Sitthikom, the 17-year-old who provided much of the excitement for the local fans in the earlier rounds.

In women’s doubles, the 8th-seeded team of Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari (pictured) of Indonesia beat the 7th seeded Ko A Ra and Yoo Hae Won of Korea.  Polii and Maheswari will face off against Japan’s Yuriko Miki and Koharu Yonemoto, who beat Ongbamrungphan and Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in the last match of the day.  The loss may be a blessing in disguise for Ongbamrungphan, who won’t have to play two matches on Sunday, and should leave her more rested for her singles final match.

Looking forward to Sunday’s final, Polii said, “We’re excited to be in the final.  We never think about winning or losing.  We just go to the court and play our best.  We just play and apply [our game] to the court.  We have to be ready for sure.  We’ve never played the Japanese or Thai team before.  We just go out and play the best we can.  We’re very happy.”

England brought two teams into the men’s doubles semi-finals with hopes of advancing to the finals, but neither team was able to reach their goal, as Chris Langridge and Peter Mills lost to the 2nd seeded Russian team of Vladmir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov.  The other English team, Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis, the 7th seeds, lost to Denmark Open champions Shin Baek Cheol and Yoo Yeon Seong (pictured) of Korea.

The mixed doubles will assure the Indonesians of at least one championship on Sunday, as the 2nd-seeded team of Markis Kido and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth defeated Chinese Taipei’s Tseng Min Hao and Cheng Wen Hsing and will face compatriots Riky Widianto and Puspita Richi Dili, the 4th seeded pair, on Sunday.  Widianto and Dili gained their spots in the finals when they beat Japan’s Takeshi Kamura and Koharu Yonemoto in a 27-minute match.

Finals line-up
MS: Boonsak Ponsana (THA) [1] vs. Srikanth K. (IND) [13]
MD: Vladimir Ivanov / Ivan Sozonov (RUS) [2] vs. Shin Baek Cheol / Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) [5]
WD: Nitya Krishinda Maheswari / Greysia Polii [8] vs. Yuriko Miki / Koharu Yonemoto (JPN)
XD: Markis Kido / Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth (INA) [2] vs. Riky Widianto / Puspita Richi Dili (INA) [4]
WS: Ratchanok Intanon (THA) [2] vs. Busanan Ongbamrungphan (THA) [7]

Click here for complete semi-final results

About Gerald Jew