INDONESIA OPEN 2016 QF – One last hope for Indonesia

Indonesia had 5 representatives in the quarter-finals of the Indonesia Open 2016 but amid all the dashed hopes for the high-volume crowd, only 20-year-old Ihsan Maulana Mustofa managed to get […]

Indonesia had 5 representatives in the quarter-finals of the 2016 but amid all the dashed hopes for the high-volume crowd, only 20-year-old Ihsan Maulana Mustofa managed to get through to the semi-finals.

By Naomi Indartiningrum, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The first Indonesians to start their quest for a week-end ticket were Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah and Rizki Amelia Pradipta, who were facing the world #11 Eefje Muskens & Selena Piek. Nuraidah/Pradipta started the game very confident with amazing support from the crowd. The Dutch players couldn’t control their game and lost 10-21 in the first game. With a clear will to fight back,  Muskens/Piek started to attack in the second game while the Indonesian were starting to make some errors and the Dutch ladies were able to edge out the home pair 24-22 to send it to a decider. The last game was a thriller but went the Dutch way 25-23.

“It was pretty hard match. I think Indonesia started really well and put a lot of pressure on us and we didn’t feel comfortable in the first game but luckily, in the second game our strokes were getting better and better and we could see that the Indonesians got a little nervous too even though they were in the lead,” said Piek.  “Personally I really felt uncomfortable when we were down 11-16, and we had to struggle for 6 or 7 points but we are happy that we could turn things around, we save couple match points but we also got nervous at that time.”

“This is the first semi-final in our lifetime. I told [Selena] if this is our first time to reach a semi-final, how great it would be to do it in Indonesia with all these people because badminton is so big here.  We don’t have anything like this in Europe,” Muskens added.

Double disappointement, then came Mustofa…

The second representatives from Indonesia were Alfian Eko Prasetya & Annisa Saufika , who also failed to follow up their brilliant performance from Thursday.  The world #1 from China, Zhang Nan & Zhao Yunlei won that one 21-11, 10-21, 21-14. Prasetya/Saufika actually had a great chance to win after winning the second game but they made many mistakes and were not that confident in the third game.

Ihsan Maulana Mustofa, who appeared as the third representative, succeeded in keeping the crowd’s hopes as he beat Rajiv Ouseph. Mustofa played less convincingly in the first game, but was able to reverse the condition and turned it into big wins in the second and third games. Ouseph, who played really well in the first game, appeared to run out of energy and finally the 20-year-old Indonesian was able to pull it out 17-21, 21-12, 21-12.

That was it for local players as Anggia Shitta Awanda / Ni Ketut Mahadewi couldn’t show their best against Malaysian Vivian Hoo / Woon Khe Wei.  Another Indonesian quarter-finalist who had played really well during the second round, they admitted that they were not that patient nor were they focused enough on their opponents’ game.

Istora Senayan’s vociferous crowd were still hoping for one last chance as Jonatan Christie appeared as the last hope.  However, after playing brilliantly to beat Lin Dan, Christie failed to add another Indonesian representative in the semi-finals as he could not strike another surprise today against Jan O Jorgensen.

Christie still tender

In a match that lasted for 62 minutes, Christie actually dominated the first part and won the first game 21-14. Christie had an opportunity after leading 18-16 in the second, but was not able to stay focused while his opponent started to take over psychologically, shouting loudly after every point and giving him angry looks.  Christie lost his composure and the second game 19-21.

“In the first game and beginning of the second game actually I was able to follow my strategy, said Christie.  “At 18, just like [Anthony] Ginting before, my finishing touch is just not confident and I got confused in the end of second game.”

The experienced Jorgensen started to show his strength and his attacking game confused Christie in the decider. Christie let himself get behind and was sometimes able to catch up but failed to win. The 18-year-old’s last hopes faded as Jorgensen finally took it 21-14, 19-21, 21-14. With this result, Christie matches his achievement from last year. In 2015, he also lost in the quarter-finals, beaten by the same opponent, Jan O Jorgensen, but a year later, he was at least able to push the 2014 champion to three games.

“I’m satisfied with this result but still there are lot of things that I need to improve and learn,” admitted Christie.

Tomorrow’s hope will rely solely on Ihsan Maulana Mustofa, who will be facing another superstar, Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei.

Click here for complete quarter-final results


Naomi Indartiningrum

About Naomi Indartiningrum

Naomi began as a Badzine Correspondent in 2015, while still a Business Management student living in Jakarta. A badminton enthusiast since 2007, she mostly spends her spare time writing about local badminton events and also maintaining one of largest badminton twitter accounts in Indonesia.