INDONESIA OPEN 2013 QF – Ahsan/Setiawan send Olympic champions home early

Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan stepped into the semi-final of the Djarum Indonesia Open Superseries Premier after beating Olympic champions Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng in straight games. By Altania […]

Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan stepped into the semi-final of the Djarum Premier after beating Olympic champions Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng in straight games.

By Altania Cut Wigri, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Indonesian hopes remained alive in three disciplines as of the semi-final stage of the 2013 Djarum Indonesia Open Superseries Premier while China’s ended in two of the same.  A key match for Indonesia was the defeat, by Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (pictured below) , of China’s Olympic men’s doubles champions, who had also won this event on two previous occasions.

The first game was tight until the local pair pulled away from the 12-all tie and eventually won it 21-18.  In the second game, China pair trying to catch up, but Indonesia does not want to give them a chance.  Ahsan and Setiawan, who won the Malaysian Open in January, just 3 months into their new partnership, played aggressively and delivered another game 21-13 to book their spot in the semi-final.

In the middle of the second game, Cai Yun (pictured top) became frustrated to the point of slamming racket in his hand, earning himself a yellow card.

“I just felt annoyed with myself because, like all athletes, I definitely wanted to win the game.  We didn’t play our best.  Hopefully the Indonesians can be the champions,” said Cai afterward.

Fu Haifeng praised their opponents’ powerful game.  “Victory and defeat are typical experiences for badminton players.  Today it’s my defeat and I have to accept it,” said Fu.

Meanwhile, although plagued by a lower back injury, Ahsan claimed it didn’t matter.  “Praise to God we won the match today.  I played recklessly and tried to forget my injury.  If not, it would have been more painful, surely,” Ahsan said after the game.

His partner Hendra claimed to have long anticipated the match with the Chinese pair: “We learned a lot from Sudirman Cup.  Moreover, we were also assisted by the wind, especially in the second game, so we could attack more,” Hendra Said.

Ahsan/Hendra will meet Validimir Ivanov / Ivan Sozonov from Russia, who beat England’s Chris Adcock / Andrew Ellis.  “We met Ivanov/ Sozonov at the Axiata Cup a few months ago and we won, so we hope we can win again,” said Ahsan.

Another pair of local representatives, Markis Kido (pictured) and Alvent Yulianto, failed to get their semi-final ticket as they lost to Shin Baek Cheol / Yoo Yeon Seong of South Korea in a rubber game 19-21, 21-14, 21-17.

“We played our best but the Koreans are really strong.  In the last game, we did lose stamina, so our strength went down,” said Kido.

Shin/Yoo will meet world #1 compatriots Ko Sung Hyun / Lee Yong Dae, who beat the Japanese pair Takeshi Kamura / Keigo Sonoda in straight games 21-19, 21-11.  The two pairs were formed at the same time last fall and began their respective partnerships by dividing two European Superseries titles between them.

“Tomorrow we will compete against our fellow countrymen.  I feel happy, because we are best friends and often practice together,” said Lee Yong Dae.  Ko/Lee won their only tournament encounter, in Lee’s hometown at the Hwasun Grand Prix Gold in September.

Meanwhile,  Indonesia denied China any semi-final participation in men’s singles, too, as Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka (pictured) saw off Du Pengyu in three games to set up a semi-final against the mighty Lee Chong Wei.

Ideal semi-final line-up in mixed

The four tickets for the mixed doubles semi-finals were successfully booked by none other than the four top seeds.  This after a quarter-final round in which the only missing pair among the top 8 seeds had withdrawn from the event due to injury.

World #1 Xu Chen / Ma Jin booked their semis ticket after beat Robert Mateusiak / Nadiezda Zieba in a tight deciding game.  They will meet their team-mates and #3 seeds, Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei.

Second-seeded Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir (pictured) won the tightest quarter-final match on paper. Their opponents were #5 seeds Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia.

“In the first game, at 15-all, we changed our game so we were able to win it in the end,” said Liliyana after the match.  “In the second game, we initially lagged behind the Malaysian pair but we managed to catch up.  In the semi-final, all of the players are good, so we have to be ready to face everyone.”

All-Chinese semi-final round for women’s doubles

In doubles, the Chinese women are just too strong for the rest of the world this week.  All of semi-final spots are filled with Chinese pair.  Top-seeded Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang lost their first game of the tournament but still bounced back to beat Anneke Feinya Agustin / Della Destiara Haris (pictured) of Indonesia convincingly 21-13, 15-21, 21-12.  Feinya/Della had the edge at the net, while the Chinese pair excelled in sharp smashes.

Wang/Yu will face off against the fourth seeds Ma Jin / Tang Jinhua.  While Ma begins her campaign to see her way through to two finals in that match, the other semi-final will see a similar effort by Zhao Yunlei, as she and Tian Qing will play off against Bao Yixin / Cheng Shu and before Ma and Zhao go toe-to-toe later in the afternoon in their mixed semi-final.

Click here for complete quarter-final results

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