SINGAPORE OPEN 2016 SF – No 7th for Liliyana

A 7th Singapore Open title was not in the cards for Liliyana Natsir, as she and Tontowi Ahmad could not find a way past Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun / Kim […]

A 7th title was not in the cards for Liliyana Natsir, as she and Tontowi Ahmad could not find a way past Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun / Kim Ha Na.

By Seria Rusli, live in Singapore, and Don Hearn
Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

The Singapore Open semi-finals in all 4 disciplines featured past champions but none top Liliyana Natsir’s 6 titles. However, she and Tontowi Ahmad – who was himself the second most decorated semi-finalist on Saturday, along with Zhao Yunlei, as both have 3 Singapore titles to their names – fell in two games to Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na.

“From the beginning, we were quite alright but in the middle of the game, we were quite panicky,” said Liliyana Natsir. “[Kim] was able to predict our shots for a few times and we were not able to make her run. Hence our shots were placed at the same spot.

“In the second game, we changed our strategy and were able to tie it at 14-all but then we then made a lot of unforced errors. The opponents gained many points easily.

“I think that our opponents were playing as usual and we were controlling the game at the beginning. But it’s just that when they got the momentum in the match, then we became panicky and were not able to improve our game.

“Our next match will be at the BAC [Badminton Asia Championships] and what we need to improve is on our stamina. Our stamina has dropped because of the Malaysia Open. We are quite thankful that we were able to reach the semi-final. Nevertheless, we will learn from our mistakes again to prepare for the BAC in two weeks’ time. It is also the last match for Olympic points and we were the champions last year. We definitely want to defend our title but we will see how our recovery is and also how we manage to polish our game.”

“I think we were attacked many times and were under pressure,” added Tontowi Ahmad.  “For me, I was not covering the back court very well today either. We will learn from our mistakes for our next match.”

Like Ahmad, Zhao Yunlei was also prevented from trying for a fourth Singapore title.  She and Tian Qing went down in three games to Matsutomo/Takahashi, making women’s doubles the only discipline without a returning champion in the final.

Click here for complete semi-final results

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 @