INDONESIA OPEN Finals – Unbreakable Tai wins 9th against Chen

With the support from Indonesian fans, Tai Tzu Ying won her 9th straight victory over Chen Yufei and her 5th straight 2018 title, while the day ended with a 4th […]

With the support from Indonesian fans, Tai Tzu Ying won her 9th straight victory over Chen Yufei and her 5th straight 2018 title, while the day ended with a 4th for Indonesia’s men’s doubles #1.

By Sulistianing Ambarwati, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta
Photos: Yves Lacroix / Badmintonphoto (live)

Unstoppable Tai Tzu Ying!

Taiwan’s ace Tai Tzu Ying won the women’s singles title in 2018.  Tai Tzu Ying emerged as champion after defeating Chinese representative Chen Yufei.  Tai lost the first game narrowly but the world #1 then caught up and won the second and third games decisively.

This is the second Indonesia Open title for Tai Tzu Ying after taking her first one in 2016.  At that time, she also conquered another Chinese representative, Wang Yihan, who was then playing in here last final.  This time, Chen was playing in her first post- Sunday.

“I made a lot of mistakes in the match, so actually I’m not really satisfied with my performance today, but because I had full support from the crowd from the beginning, it really helped me to win today’s match,” said Tai.

This Indonesia Open title became the fifth title for Tai this year.  She has not been defeated in the last four tournaments. She has won, in succession, the Indonesia Masters Super 500, the All England , the Badminton Asia Championships, the Malaysia Open Super 750, and now this .

Before the final match of 2018 Indonesia Open, Tai and Yufei had already met 8 times, the last coming at the Badminton Asia Championships this year, when the scores of both games were close.

Despite suffering her ninth loss to the world #1, Chen Yufei (pictured right) still found something positive: “I am actually satisfied with the first game and a half because I was still able to keep myself in control, but then Tai changed her strategy and she played very fast, so I felt under pressure because of her speed.”

What’s next for Tai?

Having reclaimed her Indonesia Open crown, Tai Tzu Ying (pictured) will compete in the BWF World Championships, which she missed last year in order to play the Universiade at home, and then of course she will return to Istora Senayan in Jakarta for the 2018 Asian Games. Tai said that she will focus for the nearest tournament first, World Badminton Championship.

“Of course, I will concentrate and put my attention firstly to World Badminton Championship as it will come first then Asian Games,” said Tai.

This 24-year-old shuttler talked about the keys to performing well, saying that the most important thing is always stay mentally positive: “I have to pay a lot of attention to my health and physical condition, so I put attention to the eating and sleeping schedule also to the exercise, so I really prepare for the next tournament,” said Tai.

Tai gets her 5th, but Kevin/Marcus not far behind, with 4

Home supporters kept the vociferous cheering going most loudly for the last two matches on Sunday, especially when Indonesian stars Marcus Fernaldi Gideon / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (pictured bottom) stepped onto the court. They put on quite a show but the crowd didn’t have to cheer long, as the last match on finals day was also the fastest, with the home favourites beating German Open winners Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko in 31 minutes.

Yuki Kaneko commented that the performance of this #1 men’s doubles makes them very difficult to beat: “As we know, they are the number one pair, so we had learned the way they play, but then on court, their performance was very good and it was hard for us to stay close in the score. Unfortunately we could not control the situation and played into their strategy.”

Inoue added, “I had learned and understood their style of playing. We tried to attack them, but on court, it was very difficult to attack and we could not balance their performance.”

“I am absolutely happy because we could be the champions here, in Indonesia, especially after losing in Malaysia,” said Gideon after the match.

Next targets

The BWF World Championships and Asian Games will be the next tournaments for the Indonesian pair, while Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko (pictured left) are headed to the for a third straight week of competition, although they are also slated to play the Worlds.  The closely paced tournament schedule is not a problem, according to the world #1 pair: “We cannot use the tight schedule as an excuse for playing badly, so we just have to stay healthy and mentally positive,” commented Sukamuljo.

The Indonesia Open title definitely made both winners more confident and motivated to play in the next tournament, but Gideon is not thinking too much about the next target: “We do not have a specific target because we just do our best in every match. Even in every match we never think about how to win, we just think and focus about how to finish this game as well as possible.”

As representatives of the host country of 2020 Olympics, the Japanese pair do have a target for that most important of tournaments: “We honestly do not have many targets.  We think being consistent is the most important, so we try to be consistent, so that we can perform in the Olympics in Tokyo,” said Yuki Kaneko.

Final results
WS:  Tai Tzu Ying (TPE) [1] beat Chen Yufei (CHN) [5]  21-23, 21-15, 21-9
WD:  Yuki Fukushima / Sayaka Hirota (JPN) [2] beat Mayu Matsumoto / Wakana Nagahara (JPN)  21-14, 16-21, 21-14
MS:  Kento Momota (JPN) beat Viktor AXELSEN (DEN) [1]  21-14, 21-9
XD:  Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir (INA) [1] beat Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying (MAS)  21-17, 21-8
MD:  Marcus Fernaldi Gideon / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA) [1] beat Takuto Inoue / Yuki Kaneko (JPN) [7]  21-13, 21-16

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