DJARUM SUPERLIGA 2014 – Indonesian, Japanese teams hold the power

A re-match of the 2013 final is set in the women’s team event of the 2014 Djarum Badminton Superliga after one all- Indonesian and one all-Japanese semi-final. By Mathilde Liliana […]

A re-match of the 2013 final is set in the women’s team event of the 2014 Djarum Badminton after one all- Indonesian and one all-Japanese semi-final.

By Mathilde Liliana Perada and Altania Cut Wigri, Badzine Correspondents.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Renesas Japan challenged Unisys Japan for the first spot in the knockout stage.  Kana Ito, as the first women’s singles player for Renesas, surrendered to Sayaka Takahashi (pictured) in straight games, while Ayumi Mine forced a difficult game for Shizuka Uchida before she lost to the Unisys representative in a one-hour three-game match.

Nozomi Okuhara made sure that Unisys would repeat the team’s finals appearance from last year in the same tournament, by winning the deciding point.  Okuhara beat Yuki Fukushima 21-12, 21-10.

“We’re satisfied with these matches,” Unisys manager Hajime Komiyama said afterward.  “Last year, we already got two points against Jaya Raya in the final, but we lost after Jaya Raya took the last three matches.  So, our target in the current year is to win this tournament.”

Okuhara admitted that it had been a long time since she was last in Indonesia.  “I try to practice more and I had already got accustomed to playing in several earlier matches,” Okuhara said.

In order to smooth their way to win this competition, Sayaka Takahashi stated that she would have preferred to play against Mutiara Cardinal Bandung rather than Jaya Raya, due to the latter’s powerful women’s singles and doubles; however, she was not to get her wish.

In the other semi-final match, Jaya Raya already snatched the remaining place in the final after winning over Mutiara Cardinal Bandung in 5 hard matches.  The defending champions are now looking forward to the final stage, where last year they lost the first two matches before bouncing back to take the last three matches and the title, a pattern they already repeated in Friday’s semi-final in the 2014 edition.

Jaya Raya coach Bambang Supriyanto explain that some miscommunication between doubles aces Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth and Rizki Amelia Pradipta led to their defeat to Suci Rizky Andini / Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah (pictured above).  Suci and Tiara lost the first game but came back to win the second and third game for Mutiara Cardinal Bandung.

After Aprilia Yuswandari retired to cede a first point to Jaya Raya, Bellaetrix Manuputty (pictured) became the last representative and clinched the win for Jaya Raya.

“I never expected Pia and Rizky to lose to their opponents.  I become more tense but then I tried to enjoy the game,” said Manuputty.

Supriyanto, the Jaya Raya coach, confessed that Unisys’ power is not different from last year, when Aya Ohori became their third women’s singles, replaced this year by Nozomi Okuhara.  “Ohori is very good technically but Okuhara is a more mature player,” said Supriyanto.

Men’s Team: Kido and Setiawan are back

While women’s team enter semi-final stage, the men’s teams were still competing for their places in the semi-final round.

Markis Kido (pictured) and Hendra Setiawan reunited after being separated for the last two years.  They showed they still make a strong partnership, of whom their opponents should remain wary.  They participated to get point for their team, Jaya Raya.

“We hadn’t practiced together before and only had a few practices here.  We have played together since we were juniors and already know about our rotation about each other’s game well,” Kido explained about their performance.

Jaya Raya beat Taiwan to top Group A, while Hi-Qua Wima Surabaya beat the Malaysia tigers to finish second.  In Group B, Musica Flypower Champion, Unisys Japan, and Djarum Kudus each won a third tie to create a 3-way draw with Djarum Kudus losing out as the only team to finish with below 13 match wins.

Click here for complete Friday results

Mathilde Liliana Perada

About Mathilde Liliana Perada

Mathilde has been a Badzine Correspondent since 2013. She is currently living in Jakarta and is working for a financial advisory firm. She also spends her time writing about badminton and helps local badminton communities to organize events related to badminton.