INDONESIA OPEN 2014 SF – Jan wins, after waiting so Long

Jan O. Jorgensen has scored a two-for-one at the BCA Indonesia Open, successfully ousting second ranked Chen Long for the first time, to enter his first ever Superseries Premier final. […]

Jan O. Jorgensen has scored a two-for-one at the BCA , successfully ousting second ranked Chen Long for the first time, to enter his first ever Superseries Premier final.

By Nadhira Hafsha, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Although the first two appearances by Jan O. Jorgensen (pictured) on the final Sunday of a event did happen to be at tournaments that later reached the elite Premier status, it was not until he prevailed in Saturday’s semi-final at the BCA Indonesia Open that he earned the chance to play for the big points and the big money of world badminton’s new top tier.

However, at least as important to the Danish #1 was scoring his first victory over world #2 Chen Long (pictured below), a player who had beaten the Dane no fewer than 6 times, including in their last three meetings in major semi-finals and also one occasion at this very tournament.

“I think the game was very good, this is awesome,” said Jorgensen afterward.  “The crowds are awesome even though their mixed doubles favourite has just lost.  It is amazing support and also a huge achievement for me. My first win against Chen Long, and I can’t ask for more. I’m really happy.”

Jan O Jorgensen admitted that he started to love the Indonesian supporters: “This is a really difficult place for European players to play: there’s the heat and the noise.  This is so Asian culture, but especially in Indonesia, because this is where badminton is the biggest sport in their country.

“Every year, even though I hadn’t performed well here it amazes me how much they love badminton.  To me that is truly amazing.”

In fact, Team China got off to a disappointing start on semi-finals day.  First, another world #2, Wang Shixian (pictured below), was ousted by reigning World Champion, Ratchanok Intanon 21-19, 16-21, 13-21.

The Chinese ace, who had already won two of three Superseries finals this year, started off the match quite well.  The first game was so intense because both players were keeping so many of the rallies going long.

“Ratchanok played outstanding today.  I have to admit that her defense and attacking were working quite well today against me, and I didn’t expect that to happen,” said Wang Shixian after the match.

The 2014 All England champion admitted that she, too, was struggling with her stamina in the third game, even though it was Ratchanok who was visibly hurting on court after each rally late in the match.

“In the third game I felt really exhausted, because the match had just gone on too long and it affected my performance in the third game,” said the 24-year-old Chinese star.

Fu Haifeng and Lee Yong Dae have of course had a long and colourful on-court rivalry and in fact, Lee’s first Indonesia Open title came with a win in the 2009 final against Fu and Cai Yun.  However, Saturday’s semi-final was the first meeting between the two new pairings as Lee and Yoo Yeon Seong took on Fu and Zhang Nan.

After grabbing their Japan Open title last week, Korean’s Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong (pictured)continue their title hunt in the Indonesia Open by booking a spot in the men’s doubles final for the second consecutive week.

“Today’s game was going quite fine.  I don’t regret anything because even though we lost, we gave our best,” said Fu Haifeng (pictured below with Zhang Nan) after the match.  “Besides, the Koreans were also playing well. No regrets from either of us.”

“We have just been paired early this year, and slowly we [Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan] are finding that we are getting more familiar with each other’s playing style.

“I’m really happy to know that there are many Indonesian people who are supporting me during the match.  I feel touched, and it gave me extra spirit.”

China’s luck changes

China’s shuttlers were bound to get started on the winning track sooner or later and, to the chagrin of the crowd at the Istora Senayan, it came in the third match of the day, with the second win this year for Xu Chen / Ma Jin against the home favourites Tontowi Ahmad / Lilyana Natsir (pictured below).

“In the first game, Ma Jin and I were still guessing about what strategy they would use today,” explained Xu Chen afterward.  “In the second and third game, we discovered their strategy and because of that, we got the chance to control the rest of the match.

“Even though we both had met a number of times, each match the Indonesians always set a different strategy.”

The loss, which sent Xu Chen / Ma Jin (pictured bottom) to the final against Denmark’s Fischer Nielsen/Pedersen, left Ahmad and Natsir with nothing but a bronze for the second straight year, after coming up short in the finals in 2011 and 2012.

“We grabbed the first game even though we were trailing at first but we managed to chase the point, and it gave us confidence to do well in the second,” said Lilyana Natsir, “but somehow we lost the focus and played awfully.  During the match, I asked myself: ‘Why is it so hard to be a champion on our home ground? Why? Why?’

In fact, no Indonesian has won the mixed title at the Indonesia Open since Natsir and former partner did it back in 2005 when, incidentally, no Chinese players were present.  Indonesia’s only hope remains in the men’s doubles, where Ahsan/Setiawan will play a rematch of last Sunday’s Japan Open final against Lee/Yoo of Korea.

Click here for complete semi-final results
Finals line-up
XD: Xu Chen / Ma Jin (CHN) [3] vs. Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen (DEN) [4]
WS: Li Xuerui (CHN) [1] vs. Ratchanok Intanon (THA) [4]
MS: Jan O Jorgensen (DEN) [3] vs. Kenichi Tago (JPN) [4]
WD: Tian Qing Zhao Yunlei (CHN) [8] vs. Ma Jin / Tang Yuanting (CHN)
MD: Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (INA) [1] vs. Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) [6]

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