INDONESIA OPEN 2018 SF – Olympic silver medallists in the hunt for a title

After beating the world #1 Friday, Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying made another surprise beat last week’s mixed doubles champions Zheng/Huang.  Meanwhile, there will be a new […]

After beating the world #1 Friday, Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying made another surprise beat last week’s mixed doubles champions Zheng/Huang.  Meanwhile, there will be a new champion for women’s doubles.

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

Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying made another surprise. Chan/Goh only needed two straight games to beat Malaysia Open champions Zheng Siwei / Huang Yaqiong. The match went pretty tight from the start of the first game. The Olympic silver medallists managed to close the first game 21-18.

In the second game, Chan/Goh continued to play perfectly without any big mistakes and left Zheng/Huang unable to run their strategy.  Goh Liu Ying’s stunning netting managed to give a lot of points to Malaysia. The world #15 then ensured victory 21-16.

“At first we are really afraid to meet our opponents today,” said Chan.  “They must be very strong but we had prepared well by watching their match videos before.”

“Today we played very well and I’m quite satisfied with our performance especially for my netting skills.  Several times I managed to complicate the opponents,” said Goh.

Chan/Goh tomorrow will again repeat the memory of the 2016 Olympics. In the final on Sunday, they will face the top seeds from Indonesia, Tontowi Ahmad / . The defending champions advanced to the final by ousting their compatriots Hafiz Faizal / Gloria Emmanuelle Widjaja.

This is also an opportunity for Chan/Goh to erase the trauma of defeat in the final of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

“It’s going to be even harder tomorrow. We are not only against Tontowi and Liliyana but also against the whole stadium,” joked Chan.

“Of course the situation is different right now.  Ahmad/Natsir are getting old after the Olympics, but we have also been on hiatus because of my injury after the that.  So, tomorrow will be a brand new start for both of us.  We hope that we still can keep up with their strategy,” said Goh.

New champions will be born

The women’s doubles sector will have a new champion. The defending champion, Chen Qingchen / Jia Yifan failed to advance to the final after being defeated by unseeded, Mayu Matsumoto / Wakana Nagahara (pictured right).  Chen/Jia surprisingly lost in straight games 13-21, 18-21.

Actually the world #1 pair looked strong to win the first game after jumping out to a 5-1 lead. However, Matsumoto/Nagahara were reluctant to give up.  They just played consistently and kept attacking until they managed to win the first game.

Similar conditions happened in the second game when Chen/Jia took an early  8-4 lead.  Instead of continuing their advantage to victory, they were caught by the Japanese.  Although they had a chance to minimize the point difference, the World Champions were unable to catch back up.

“Today’s match was not good because it this is first time we played on Court 1, so we were still having difficult adapting to the wind,” said Jia.

“It’s been great today.  We performed well even though our opponents today have higher ranking than we do,” Nagahara said.

“At first, we felt some pressure when starting the match but then we were able to get a lot of points from the long rallies,” said Matsumoto.

This victory ensures that Japan will take home one title from the in 2018. Tomorrow they will face their own team-mates, Yuki Fukushima / Sayaka Hirota (pictured left).

Finals line-up
WS:  Tai Tzu Ying (TPE) [1] vs. Chen Yufei (CHN) [5]
WD:  Yuki Fukushima / Sayaka Hirota (JPN) [2] vs. Mayu Matsumoto / Wakana Nagahara (JPN)
MS:  Viktor Axelsen (DEN) [1] vs. Kento Momota (JPN)
XD:  Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir (INA) [1] vs. Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying (MAS)
MD:  Marcus Fernaldi Gideon / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA) [1] vs. Takuto Inoue / Yuki Kaneko (JPN) [7]

Click here for complete semi-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.