INDONESIA GPG 2010 SF – Ratchanok Rocks!!!

The absence of many of the world’s top players from the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold 2010 at Samarinda, East Kalimantan, has resulted in strong domination by home players.  Thirteen […]

The absence of many of the world’s top players from the Indonesia Open Gold 2010 at Samarinda, East Kalimantan, has resulted in strong domination by home players.  Thirteen out of twenty semi-finalists were Indonesian but for a second week in a row, it was the young Thai Ratchanok Intanon (pictured) who stole the show.

By Pendi Kwok, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Ira Ratnati (live in Samarinda)

However, China still managed to show their power through their young ladies’ pair, Luo Ying / Luo Yu (pictured below).  The two twins faced Anneke Feinya Agustine / Annisa Wahyuni (Indonesia) in the semi-finals.  The match was very tough and full of interesting rallies.  The Chinese pair was full of power and made very few mistakes but the  Indonesian pair was able to rival the Chinese throughout the match, especially Agustine, whose tall posture help her a lot in producing powerful smashes.   Still, the first game went to the Luo sisters 21-15.

Agustine/Wahyuni had the chance to win the second game when they led 17-13, but Luo/Luo pushed hard to take the lead back at 18-17 and the Chinese screamed out loud to celebrate it.  Agustine/Wahyuni fought back to take one point in a great rally where Agustine produced a streak of powerful smashes which finally forced a return from Luo Yu that landed out of court.  The Chinese took another 2 points on Indonesian errors.  Despite having fallen 2 points behind, the Indonesians didn’t want to give up and fought very hard in one of the best rallies of the match, but in the end, it was the Chinese pair who held their nerve to take the game 21-18.  They will face Meiliana Jauhari/Greysia Polii of Indonesia in the final.  The latter pair defeated their compatriots Vita Marissa/Nadya Melati 21-19, 17-21, 21-15.  After their match, Luo Ying/Luo Yu told Badzine that they are ready to fight against Greysia Polii/Meiliana Jauhari.  They said even though this is their first Grand Prix Gold tournament, they will do their best for the final match.

Another great match came in women’s singles where Thai sensation Ratchanok Intanon played against Indonesia’s number one player Maria Febe Kusumastuti.  The first game went to Ratchanok, whose cross-court smashes and overheads beat Maria on several occasions.  Maria changed her strategy in the second, when she attacked more often and did not lift the shuttle, leaving Ratchanok no chance to attack.  Her strategy worked well and she won that game 21-16.

Both players gave it their best shot in the third game, producing a great spectacle and they were so exhausted that they fell and lay down several times on court when they tried to return difficult shots.  Ratchanok was better able to control her game and Maria’s continued errors helped Ratchanok to win the game at 21-17.  The head-to-head became 2-0 for the 15-year-old Ratchanok.

After the match, Maria told Badzine “During the match, whoever plays more safe, she will win the match.  I did many mistakes.”

Ratchanok complimented Maria, saying: “Maria is a good player.  Her netting is very good.  I am happy to reach the final, even though I am very tired due to the long trip and I was playing in Vietnam last week.  So far I am satisfied with my achievement in my first Grand Prix Gold tournament.”

Ratchanok is two-time World Junior Champion and could be a great player in the future.  She will meet Taiwan’s Cheng Shao Chieh in the final.  Cheng beat Zhang Beiwen of Singapore 21-9, 21-13 and is now looking for her first Grand Prix Gold title outside of her home country.

In a one-sided men’s doubles match, Mohammad Ahsan/Bona Septano (Indonesia) won over Liao Min Chun / Wu Chun Wei (Taiwan) 21-15, 21-15.  It will be an all-Indonesian final in men’s doubles.  Ahsan/Septano will battle against Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki/Rian Sukmawan.  The latter Indonesian pair prevailed after a match full of drive shots and unforced errors against Malaysia’s Goh Wei Shem / Teo Kok Siang, that ended21-18, 14-21, 21-17.  Yonathan had trouble with his left knee and made many unforced errors.  The injury could also affect tomorrow’s performance.

Indonesia’s young shuttler, Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka (pictured) reached the men’s singles final by beating Liew Daren from Malaysia, who was erratic during the match, allowing Hayom to prevail 21-13, 21-11.  However, Daren has good cross-court backhands and smashes that remind one of Taufik Hidayat, who will be Hayom’s rival for the final.  Taufik defeated his younger compatriot, Andre Kurniawan Tedjono, 21-9, 19-21, 21-15.  Taufik is the top seed in this tournament and although his path to a title was made much easier by the withdrawal of Lin Dan and Chen Long, it was the Indonesian himself who finished off the last Chinese singles challenger when he beat Du Pengyu in two straight on Friday.

Other match results were:

Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir (INA) bt Fran Kurniawan Teng / Pia Zebadiah Bernadet (INA)  21-11, 25-23
Markis Kido / Lita Nurlita (INA) bt Mochamad Delynugraha R / Richi Puspita Dili (INA)  21-10, 21-14

For complete semi-final results from the 2010 Bankaltim Indonesia Grand Prix Gold, CLICK HERE


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