THAILAND MASTERS – Surprise finale gives Thai men first title

Tinn Isriyanet and Kittisak Namdash made it three for Thailand at the Thailand Masters when they edged out the Macau Open champions to win the men’s doubles title. By Don […]

Tinn Isriyanet and Kittisak Namdash made it three for Thailand at the when they edged out the Macau Open champions to win the men’s doubles title.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

For Kittisak Namdash, it was a first international title.  His partner Tinn Isriyanet (pictured top) had seen success previously at the International Challenge level but the unseeded Thais really outdid themselves on Sunday when they took the men’s doubles title at the Thailand Masters, the first installment of the BWF’s new World Tour.

The event in Bangkok, roughly the equivalent of the Gold series of the past 11 years, saw chances for four Thais to title.  Not only were Isriyanet and Namdash the only unseeded local players on finals day but they had as opponents, the winners of the penultimate Gold event, the Macau Open late last year.

Indonesia’s Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pangkaryanira / Ade Yusuf bounced back from dropping their first game by winning the second decisively and looked to have it under control when they were up 11-6 at the change of ends in the deciding game.  But the Thais finished strong and took it on the second game point opportunity, allowing Thailand to keep three titles in country.

Getting things started for Thailand was Nitchaon Jindapol.  The Thai won in straight games over compatriot Pornpawee Chochuwong (pictured above).  It was Pornpawee’s last chance to win a major title as a teenager but looking ahead, it is very promising as she has reached a final in her first tournament of the year for the second consecutive time.

The other top-seeded Thais to title on Sunday were Jongkolphan Kititharakul / Rawinda Prajongjai (pictured left) in women’s doubles.  Like Jindapol, the Thai ladies scored their first win since the Bitburger Open in the autumn.  Like Chochuwong, they duplicated their result from their 2017 season opener, only in Kititharakul and Prajongjai’s case, that meant another January title, as they had won the Malaysia Masters to kick off last year.

The one chance that went begging for Thailand on Sunday was the mixed doubles.  For the second straight year, Dechapol Puavaranukroh had to settle for runner-up at the Thailand Masters but this year it is really a good sign because it is by far his best result so far with new partner Puttita Supajirakul, who took over when the partner they shared, Sapsiree Taerattanachai, was injured in the SEA Games final.

After struggling in the second game of the mixed final, former world #3 Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying (pictured right, with Puavaranukroh/Supajirakul) put it all together in the latter half of the deciding game and saw it through to take their first title since the New Zealand Open in 2016.

Indonesia’s only title of the day came once again from veteran Tommy Sugiarto, who once again was the last and insurmountable obstacle to an 18-year-old becoming the first in over a decade to win a men’s singles title at this level.  Last year’s runner-up Kantaphon Wangcharoen narrowly lost out on the opportunity to play a repeat final against Sugiarto and instead it was Malaysia’s Leong Jun Hao (pictured bottom), the reigning Asian Junior Champion who made it through but couldn’t come up with a winning formula against the more experienced Indonesian.

Interestingly, Leong and the two winning Thai doubles pairs are the only ones who will not be following up their success with an outing at the Malaysia Masters.  That event kicks off on Tuesday with a much higher status than it had last year.

Final results:
WS:  Nitchaon Jindapol (THA) [1] beat Pornpawee Chochuwong (THA) [3]  21-11, 21-18
MS:  Tommy Sugiarto (INA) [2] beat Leong Jun Hao (MAS)  21-16, 21-15
XD:  Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying (MAS) [5] beat Dechapol Puavaranukroh / Puttita Supajirakul (THA) [7]  21-15, 14-21, 21-16
WD:  Jongkolphan Kititharakul / Rawinda Prajongjai (THA) [1] beat Anggia Shitta Awanda / Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani (INA) [2]  21-19, 21-17
MD:  Tinn Isriyanet / Kittisak Namdash (THA) beat Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pangkaryanira / Ade Yusuf Santoso (INA) [7]  21-18, 11-21, 22-20

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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 @ badzine.net