INDONESIA OPEN 2018 R16 – Momota remains unbeatable

Indonesia’s top men’s singles player, Anthony Ginting still can not find the right strategy to beat Japanese star Kento Momota, who has emerged the victor for the second straight week. […]

Indonesia’s top men’s singles player, Anthony Ginting still can not find the right strategy to beat Japanese star , who has emerged the victor for the second straight week.

Story: Naomi Indartiningrum, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta
Photos: Yves Lacroix / Badmintonphoto (live)

On Thursday, in the second round of the 2018 , Anthony Ginting was once again forced to admit defeat at the hands of Kento Momota, going down in straight games after pushing Momota to 3 a week ago. Actually, Ginting had a chance to force another rubber game when he was leading 13-7 in the second.

“I made a lot of mistakes in the first game. In the second game, I started to look for attacking opportunities,” said Anthony.

Meanwhile, according to Momota, one of the keys to his victory was to change the game strategy to avoid Ginting’s smash.

“Today my opponent looked very good, especially the attack, but I have a strategy to avoid being attacked,” said Kento Momota (pictured).  “When I was in Malaysia [Malaysia Open 2018], I got attacked by Ginting’s smash. So, for today my strategy was to avoid giving Anthony too many smashing opportunities,” he said.

The world #11 Indonesian actually got the lead after the interval in the second game. However, Momota slowly moved back up and was able to reverse the position until he had finally won in straight games.

“In the second game, I felt like I was going to lose, but I took points one by one to turn things around,” Momota added.

Momota then will face the last Indonesian men’s singles representative, Tommy Sugiarto in the quarter-finals. Sugiarto made it into final eight after beating Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, 21-13, 14-21, 21-18.

Not a good day for the Adcocks

A similar fate was also experienced by English mixed doubles pair, Chris Adcock / Gabrielle Adcock (pictured). The world #7 has also been unable to beat Yuta Watanabe / Arisa Higashino since their first meeting, back in 2016, when the Brits were in the top ten and the Japanese pair were largely unknown.

Watanabe/Higashino were in control from the start of the first game, which they finished with a 21-19 lead. Despite losing in the second game, the 2018 All England Champion did not let their confidence slide and they won by a convincing 21-13 scoreline in the decider.

“Although we won in the first round, my performance is not very good,” said Higasino.  “We were still groping for our strategy until the second half. It was only in the third game when we were able to implement our strategy well.”

This victory adds to their record over the British pair, extending their streak to 3-0. At the previous meeting, the Japanese pair – now ranked #26 in the world – also managed to dispel the expectations of the Adcocks for a home title in this year’s All England.

Former All England champions also advance

In fact, all four remaining All England winners advanced to the quarter-finals, but in addition, Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov / Ivan Sozonov (pictured), who are best known for the All England title they won in 2016, managed to halt the 4th seeded pair, Li Jinhui / Liu Yuchen.  Winless in two previous meetings against the Chinese duo, this time the world #11 Europeans managed to show a stunning match full of confidence.

Ivanov / Sozonov only took 30 minutes to end Li/Liu’s run, winning 21-19, 21-15. Both Ivanov and Sozonov admitted that they were very happy with this result because this is the first time they had managed to beat the Chinese pair, who first beat the Russians back in 2013, in their very first match after being crowned World Junior Champions.

“Our performance today was very good. We are very pleased to be able to beat the 4th seeds. Of course we are very excited for the quarter-final tomorrow,” said Ivan Sozonov.

“Today we did not change the strategy. We just played the shuttlecock neatly, were more careful in front of the net and strengthened the attack. We are delighted that this strategy worked well,” Ivanov added.

Unlike the Russians, Liu Yuchen admitted that he was very disappointed with his performance today: “I also do not know what happened on court. All I feel is that we played too casually so we did not focus on the game,” said Liu.

“We have had several wins against them before but I must admit that today our opponents were playing very well,” he added.

With this result, China only succeeded in placing 1 men’s doubles pair in the quarter-final round.  World Champions Liu Cheng / Zhang Nan will face the home pair, Fajar Alfian / Muhammad Rian Ardianto.

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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.