INDONESIA OPEN SF – Sindhu to meet Yamaguchi in the final

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu made it to a final for the first time this year and will fight Akane Yamaguchi, who also made it to the Indonesia Open final for the […]

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu made it to a final for the first time this year and will fight Akane Yamaguchi, who also made it to the final for the first time in her career.

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

The Indian contingent successfully secure a ticket for Indonesia Open 2019 final through women’s singles star Pusarla Venkata Sindhu.  Performing in the semi-final match at Istora Senayan, Jakarta, the 5th seed managed to knock down All England winner Chen Yufei in straight games.

Sindhu was left behind at the start of the first game but then the 2016 Olympic silver medallist got a moment to turn things around after the interval to close out the first game, winning by a thin margin 21-19.

Having lost the first game, Chen immediately rose in the second game and won the first four  points.  However, Sindhu was able to provide resistance and successfully led 11-8 over the world #2 at the interval.  After the break, Chen just could not get out from under the pressure and made many mistakes so Sindhu continued to add to her score until she had the win at 21-10.

Sindhu’s victory over Chen Yufei came in the first meeting in 2019 and nearly a year after their only meeting in 2018.  At the last meeting of the two player, in the quarter-finals of the China Open, Chen Yufei was able to win after three rather one-sided games.

“I’m really happy about my performance today,” Sindhu said after the match.  “It’s been a long time since I’ve played her and I think I played better today.  This is my first final this year so I don’t want to miss any more chances.”

On her upcoming final against Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, who was already awaiting the result of the Chen-Sindhu match, the Indian said, “We know each other’s game.  Each point is important because Akane’s playing style is full of rallies.  I need to prepare my stamina for a tiring match tomorrow.”

First seed downed first

Akane Yamaguchi surprisingly managed to beat the first seed and defending champion from Taiwan, Tai Tzu Ying, in two straight – and rather one-sided – games.

In the first game, Tai had difficulty controlling.  Several times, Tai failed to return the shuttlecocks launched by her Japanese opponent.  Yamaguchi, meanwhile, looked comfortably able to control the world #1’s game.  The first game was closed with Akane’s overwhelming advantage over Tai Tzu Ying, 21-9.

In the second game, the 22-year-old still appeared dominant.  Yamaguchi easily rattled off several points in a row, while Tai still had difficulties returning her opponent’s shots.  Yamaguchi managed to finish the second game with a 21-15 advantage and advance to the final.

“I am very happy to win this match.  This will be my first final in Indonesia.  Before this, I’ve never got this far in this tournament.  That’s why I am so excited for tomorrow.  Especially with the support of Indonesian fans, I hope to win the match tomorrow,” Yamaguchi said with a very big smile.

Despite winning over the world #1, Yamaguchi was not satisfied with today’s match because she did not need her best game against Tai, who did not look as fit as usual: “I know Tzu Ying is sick today and she also made a lot of mistakes in the match.  Even though I won and could qualify for the final, I feel a little less satisfied with this result, because she was not in one hundred percent condition,” she explained.

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.