INDONESIA OPEN Finals – From 1st round to final victory

One year after their first meeting and first loss at the hands of the world #1, Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen topped the podium and took the biggest title of […]

One year after their first meeting and first loss at the hands of the world #1, Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen topped the podium and took the biggest title of their career so far, the Indonesia Open Premier 2017.

By Mathilde Liliana Perada, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen (pictured right) first met Denmark’s Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen (pictured below) in the first round of their first Superseries Premier in 2016, last year.  Losing 16-21, 20-22 on that occasion, they regrouped and continued to post better and better results over the next year until this weekend, they repeated the same match at Jakarta Convention Center Senayan, Jakarta, making it the second straight Superseries event to come down to these two teams.

The two 21-year-olds from China had to perform a tight game against the world #1. They seemed to be left behind at the interval of the first game but then fought back to make it 13-all. Li/Liu soon upped the pace and the opening game ended 21-19 in their favour.

“It was a good game. Although the point was left behind at the beginning of the match, we managed to play well in the first game and our strategy went well,” said Liu, who admitted that it was the Denmark pair playing better in the second that sent it to a deciding game.

“We had the same strategy but our defence was stronger compared to theirs. We managed to be successful on defense first and ended it with a strike,” added Li after his side’s 21-19, 19-21, 21-18 win.

“We played a little bit slow and did not keep with the pace and we lost a few more points. It was a close match. They are good shuttlers, they got the momentum. All credits to them for taking the chance,” said Boe.

One title for India

Srikanth Kidambi (pictured) declared himself to be the second Indian shuttler to win Indonesia Open Superseries Premier after Saina Nehwal in 2009, 2010, and 2012.  He came into the final not having won a Superseries tournament in over two years but he did have some momentum after reaching the Singapore Open final and he started confidently, taking the lead early in the match and ending the first game 21-11.

“I think I gave the best today. I started well and my attack was working well,” said Srikanth.  “I stopped him from running in the first game then he actually came back well in the second game.  He was leading 11-6.”

Kazumasa Sakai (pictured below) kept hold of the lead past the interval and while Srikanth managed to keep it  close, drawing level at 13, Sakai snatched the lead back again.  The Indian finally ended the match with a surge of three consecutive points and took his third career Superseries title.

“It’s the best thing that happened to me since the last week. It’s a very meaningful event for me,” Srikanth said.  “After losing the final in Singapore, I thought that in next the tournament, something good was about to happen to me.  It’s been a long time since I won a Superseries and I was injured after the Olympics.  I’m really happy that things really worked for me.

Kazumasa Sakai mentioned the challenge of trying to win the final reaching it after coming through the qualification rounds: “I wanted to win the match but it’s not easy since I played seven matches.  I felt really tired and Srikanth was really strong and his smashes were too fast,” said Sakai.

“The support from my coaches and staff when I was training here became my strength,” said the player who had trained for two years in the Tangkas Badminton Club in Indonesia from age 18.

Final results
WD:  Chen Qingchen / Jia Yifan (CHN) [5] beat Chang Ye Na / Lee So Hee (KOR) [3]   21-19, 15-21, 21-10
MS:  Kidambi Srikanth (IND) beat Kazumasa Sakai (JPN)  21-11, 21-19
WS:  Sayaka Sato (JPN) beat Sung Ji Hyun (KOR) [5]  21-13, 17-21, 21-14
MD:  Li Junhui / Liu Yuchen (CHN) [3] beat Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (DEN) [2]  21-19, 19-21, 21-18
XD:  Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir (IND) [6] beat Zheng Siwei / Chen Qingchen (CHN) [1]  22-20, 21-15

Click here for complete results

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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.