INDONESIA OPEN R16 – Home women’s doubles hopes end at second hurdle

Indonesia’s last hope in women’s doubles, Greysia Polii / Apriani Rahayu could not make their way into the quarter–final after beaten by unseeded players from Korea, Kim So Yeong / […]

Indonesia’s last hope in womens doubles, Greysia Polii / Apriani Rahayu could not make their way into the quarterfinal after beaten by unseeded players from Korea, Kim So Yeong / Kong Hee Yong.

Story: Nadhira Rahmani, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta
Photos: Yves Lacroix / Badmintonphoto (live)

Indonesia’s top women’s doubles pair was one of 3 home casualties on Thursday at the .  They failed to proceed into the quarter-final after being defeated by Kim So Yeong / Kong Hee Yong (pictured right) in a 94-minute battle.

The unseeded duo from Korea claimed their win 22-20, 18-21, 21-13 over the 5th-seeded Indonesian pair.  In fact, all 3 times Rahayu has faced Kim So Yeong it has been at her home Open and although these two pairs had not met each other previously, in the Koreans’ previous partnerships, they had both been winless against the mighty Indonesian pairing.

Polii/Rahayu were combative in the opening game, but the Korean pair managed to keep their cool in the crucial points.  Despite having to save 4 game points, the Korean pair clinched the opener 22-20.  The Indonesian pair came back strong in the second but trailed throughout the deciding game.

“We are devastated by this defeat and very disappointed with the way we performed. I can’t even comprehend this,” admitted Greysia Polii (pictured left).

“Our opponents played at high speed and aggressively and we did not anticipate the attacks very well.  We made a few mistakes at crucial points,” added the 31-year-old player.

This defeat resulted in no representatives in women’s doubles for Indonesia in the quarter-finals, as Melati/Nuraidah and Haris/Pradipta also met their expected end, losing to the current and former World Champions respectively.

Yonemoto/Tanaka outclass Thailand’s last hope

It was a great day for Japanese women’s doubles pairs as all the representatives clinched convincing wins in the round of 16.  The shortest win came from the seventh seeded Koharu Yonemoto / Shiho Tanaka, who prevailed in a 33-minute battle over Thailand’s Puttita Supajirakul / Sapsiree Taerattanachai (pictured right).  The world #10, who haven’t topped a podium since taking the last Finals title in 2017, defeated the Thailand Masters winners in straight games.

“We played very well, with good coordination in both games, we did not make many mistakes and minimized our unforced errors while our opponents made too many errors.  That clearly gave us such an advantage,” said Koharu Yonemoto (pictured bottom, with Shiho Tanaka) after the match.

Koharu/Shiho will face their compatriots, world #2 Yuki Fukushima / Sayaka Hirota, in the quarter-final.  The final eight is half Japanese, with Korea and China placing two pairs each into the Friday line-up as well.

Despite being beaten in the last three meetings, Yonemoto admitted that they will also be in the hunt to play at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020: “We will work on our stamina and we will have a few discussions to figure out about our last three meetings, how we lost to them.  We are trying to win every match we have left because we are also racing to collect points to play at Tokyo Olympics 2020.”

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