DJARUM SUPERLIGA Day 5 – Thai beats Tai, Jaya Raya doubles rule

Busanan Ongbamrungphan upset Tai Tzu Ying and PB Jaya Raya’s doubles pairs dominated to seal the win over PB Djarum in the women’s semi-finals at the 2013 Djarum Badminton Superliga.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Ira Ratnati (live)

Things finally got less complicated as the women’s competition at the 2013 Djarum Badminton Superliga moved into the semi-final stage.  The first one to finish was an easy win for Unisys over their Japanese compatriots in the Renasas team.

The only real suspense their surrounded the ability of Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi to dispose of their elders Reika Kakiiwa / Miyuki Maeda, which they did in two games, but the struggle went on for exactly one hour.  Kakiiwa and Maeda had both been ranked ahead of their compatriots when they were in their former partnerships, but were passed when they split up and were paired together at the beginning of this year.

The more surprising result came when PB Jaya Raya, down 0-1 to Djarum, bounced back to win the tie 3-1.  PB Djarum had been relying on their singles all week and Juliane Schenk (pictured below) did make quick work of Jaya Raya’s only top 10 singles shuttler, Minatsu Mitani.  However, 18-year-old Tai Tzu Ying was just not up to the challenge on Thursday against 16-year-old Busanan Ongbamrungphan.

That left Jaya Raya with two hard fights by its young doubles combinations – now the #1 and #3 pair for Indonesia – to send them through to the finals.  First, Pia Zebadiah Bernadet / Rizki Amelia Pradipta (pictured top) saw a way past Jenna Gozali / Komala Dewi in three and then Nitya Krishinda Maheswari / Anneke Feinya Agustin saw off veteran compatriots Vita Marissa / Meiliana Jauhari in another 65-minute contest.

“As I explained before, we were hoping for our three singles players to win their matches for us,” explained Djarum manager Fung Permadi.  “When we lost one of these, we hoping for our doubles pairs to win, but then our doubles lost.

“Tai Tzu Ying under-performed. She’s a typical player in handling her feelings.  When she does something wrong, it has a bad effect on the rest of the game.”

Of PB Djarum’s rematch against Renasas in the tie to decide third place Permadi said, “When we played against Renesas we won 4-1, but tomorrow’s game will be tougher because the Japanese adapt easily.”

“Busanan was playing well today,” said, Jaya Raya team manager Bambang.  “She is one of our turning points.  We have no doubt about Tai’s quality, but maybe Busanan wanted to try to play against her, and she didn’t have any pressure, and played well.

“We are hoping for our first singles, second doubles, and third singles to get points [against Unisys] because Pia/Rizky’s playing style is pretty different from the Japanese.  Pia loves to play fast but the Japanese, play their points one by one.”

In the men’s division, Wang Zhengming’s surprise loss to Chong Wei Feng meant that Lee Chong Wei, Lee Hyun Il, and Chou Tien Chen would all be going home a little later to celebrate the Lunar New Year with their families as PB Musica already had the edge in game and match differential to beat whoever ended up in the three-way tie for second place.

With Malaysia up 2-1 and PB SGS PLN both teams then needing a win to advance to the semi-finals, it was the Malaysian tigers who finished it off with the expected win from Goh V Shem Lim Khim Wah and then an upset of Taufik Hidayat by Mohammad Arif Abdul Latif.

PB Musica had already set themselves up in excellent position, with their win over Jaya Raya that morning, so that only a few improbable outcomes of the other tie could have prevented them from finishing second in the group.  Their victory – which eliminated Jaya Raya, though leaving both teams with identical won-loss records except on the game level – relied on the strength of its singles players, even without Lee Chong Wei’s help.

PB Tangkas Specs won their tie to top Group A, to set up their semi-final against PB Musica, while PB Jaya Raya Suryanaga – despite being brought back from the brink by Ryan Agung Saputra (pictured above) and Trikusuma Wardhana – finished second and must take on the Malaysia Tigers in Friday’s semi-final.

Click here for complete Day 5 results

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