INDIA GPG SF 2012 – All-Korean final in men’s doubles

The last tournament of the year is heading to tomorrow’s final with an all–Korean men’s doubles final while the home team still hopes for both singles titles. By Rudy Chandra, […]

The last tournament of the year is heading to tomorrows final with an allKorean men’s doubles final while the home team still hopes for both singles titles.

By Rudy Chandra, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto and Don Hearn (archives)

The Korean team had a strong presence in all of the doubles disciplines in this year’s semi-finals at the amazingly named Shaheed Dr.  KL Garg , Syed Modi India Gold 2012.  Kang Ji Wook (pictured) was to play two semi-finals today in the mixed and men’s doubles, and reached his only final of the year, apart from the World University Badminton Championships, with his men’s partner Lee Sang Joon.

Having only played in Japan and Korea in 2012, the 84th ranked pair pulled off an upset to beat the first seeds Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki / Hendra Aprida Gunawan, 21-12, 21-12.  The Indonesians failed to produce any resistance, as the Koreans advanced to the final to face their compatriots Ko Sung Hyun / Lee Yong Dae (pictured below).  Ko/Lee maintain their great form reaching a fifth final in just seven tournaments played, overcoming more Indonesian opposition in a simple match, the French Open champions beating Fernaldi/Putra 21-10, 21-8.

Shin Seung Chan also appeared in two semis, both the mixed and women’s doubles semis, but unlike her mixed partner Kang, she failed to reach either final, despite a good year in which she defended her girl’s doubles title at the World Junior Championships.  She was denied in one of her two attempts by Thai player Savitree Amitrapai, who reached the finals of both women’s and mixed disciplines.

Savitree reached her first final with partner Nipitphon as they pulled the first upset of the day over the third seeds, Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Vanessa Neo, beating the Singaporeans 21-18, 21-18.  The Thais led most of the first game, although the gap between them was never more than three points.  A point down to the Singaporeans at 18-17, Savitree and Nipitphon won four consecutive points to wrap up the game.  It was much the same in the second game although Chrisnanta and Neo used more offensive smashes.  The Thais slowed down after leading 11-8 at the mid game to again trail 18-17 only to step up again and finish the match in a similar fashion.

This is the Thai pair’s first tournament together and the decision to pair Savitree with Nipitphon appears to have paid off.  She had enjoyed a good run with previous partner Maneepong Jongjit, who is also number 7 pair for men’s doubles, and their mixed pair does still hold a ranking of 17th in the world.  However, the new pairing has produced a promising result in reaching the final.

Savitree Amitrapai reached her second final as she and partner Sapsiree Taerattanachai (pictured) beat the 4th-seeded youngsters Lee So Hee / Shin Seung Chan in the women’s doubles.  The first game went the way of the Koreans, 21-12 as the Thais struggled to keep up.  The Thais changed tactics for the second and led from 7-all to the end of the game, 21-18.  The Thais led for much of the third, the Koreans levelled to 19-all, but failed to capitalise, and their opponents took the last two points and the match.

Savitree will meet the second seeds Fran Kurniawan / Shendy Puspa Irawati tomorrow.  Kurniawan reached the final of the 2011 edition of the Yonex Sunrise India Open Superseries former partner Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth and will be hoping to bring the first title of the year with his new company.  The Indonesians dominated the first game, winning 21-14 after a run of 6 consecutive points to seal the end. Korea’s Kang and Shin had a better start to the second game, leading 8-5; however this had stopped by the interval when they trailed 10-11.  The game was undoubtedly more competitive, with the lead constantly changing sides, but experience paid off as the Indonesians took the game 21-18.

India has a representative in both singles finals as Kashyap Parupalli advanced to the final after beating Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 21-18, 23-21, denying Indonesia a third straight title at the season-ender.

Meanwhile in the women’s singles, Sindhu P.V. (pictured) will face Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia in the final after beating Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-12, 21-14.

Sindhu was confident about winning the final, having beaten her opponent in the qualification rounds at the All England.  Speaking to the Times of India she said, “I am very happy to reach this final.  I want to win it now.  I will give my level best to win this time.  I played well in today’s match giving my 100 per cent.  I am very thankful to my coach without whom this would not have been possible.  It was a good match and had a lot of long rallies.”

Click here for complete semi-final results

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