SINGAPORE OPEN 2013 SF – No ‘haze’ arduous win for Tommy

The spectators who had made the wise decision to spend their Saturday afternoon indoors at the Singapore Indoor Stadium witnessed a very strong Tommy Sugiarto who edged Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien […]

The spectators who had made the wise decision to spend their Saturday afternoon indoors at the Singapore Indoor Stadium witnessed a very strong Tommy Sugiarto who edged Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh to set up a final clash against Li-Ning title-holder Boonsak Ponsana.

By Lee Suet Yan, live in Singapore. Photos : Badmintonphoto (live)

Air pollution has crossed the hazardous mark for the first time in Singapore’s history. Today, Tommy Sugiarto (pictured below) has also marked his personal best for the first time in his badminton career by defeating the 6th seed Nguyen Tien Minh (pictured above) in a 74–minute classic.

Nguyen and Sugiarto split the opening two games before the unseeded Tommy delighted the local crowd by winning the final game 21-15 to book his place for the first time in a Superseries final. Tommy and Nguyen offered an exciting show to the crowd with a great display of techniques, determination and the motivation to win.  The unfortunate outcome for Nguyen is that he failed to win any title at his 9th consecutive Singapore Open.

“The umpire ruling the line call in my favour definitely added confidence” responded Tommy after his match.  “I feel very happy with my performance in Singapore Open.

“This is my first Superseries final. It doesn’t matter who am I playing against in the final tomorrow – Boonsak or Takuma – I will also do my best and I will seize this good opportunity and grab the title tomorrow.

“Even though the BWF head-to-head shows that my record against Nguyen was 6-0, in February I actually beat Nguyen in a league match in Surabaya. So, I just try to recall that memory on how I have beaten him, so even though when I was lagging at some parts of the third game, I know I still had the chance to win against him,” said Tommy.

Last but not least, Tommy added: “I tried setting the game at my own rhythm and pace. Nguyen likes to speed up the game to retain his momentum when he is winning the points, but I tried to slow him down at some points so that I could go back and focus on my own game and tactics.”

The favourite – Boonsak Ponsana

Two-time Singapore Open champion and local favourite Boonsak Ponsana (pictured) had a relatively easy win over his Japanese opponent Takuma Ueda with a score line of 21-8, 21-15. He will fight for his 3rd Singapore Open title tomorrow against Tommy.

“I was expecting Boonsak to be a tactical player, but today he attacked a lot more. I feel that I could have done so much better in the game. I didn’t expect my game plan turn out to be a failure. However, overall, I’m happy with my performance in this tournament,” said Takuma.

Boonsak on the other hand spoke about his victory, saying: “In the first game, I was playing against the wind so I could be more aggressive in my attacks and could control the shuttlecock more easily. However, in the second game, I had to change my tactics slightly as I was down-wind. With younger and faster players like Takuma, I could not rely so much on my attacks.

“Tomorrow is going to be a tough match against Tommy. I have never won against him recently. The only time when I won against him was when he was still really junior. Tommy is really good with his defence and has good court coverage.”

Repeat of the epic Olympic final?

The Olympics champion Li Xuerui was in an excellent form today by defeating her younger team-mate, and up-and-coming superstar, Sun Yu 21-13, 21-11. However, her teammate and also her final opponent, Wang Yihan (pictured), held off an inspired fight back from Lindaweni Fanetri, defeating the Indonesian in three tough games 20-22, 21-17, 21-18. Wang has finally avenged her lost to Lindaweni at this year’s All England Championships. Wang’s victory secured a medal China in tomorrow’s final.

“I made quite a lot of mistakes thus I am not very satisfied with my performance today,” said Li.  I was struggling at the beginning of both games but I felt lucky I was able to convert it.”

Meanwhile her 19-year-old compatriot Sun Yu told Badzine: “I couldn’t adjust quickly after every time I’ve made a mistake. I was being too conservative throughout the match. I was very patient and attacked well at the beginning, but I played in a hurry when my opponent leveled up the score. Even though I’ve beaten some big names in this Singapore Open, overall, I am not satisfied with my performance. I expect I could have done better.

“My coming target is to be the champion in any tournament. I think there is still a gap between me and the top women’s singles players. I need more on-court experience to close this gap in order to achieve my goal,” added Sun.

Finals line-up
XD: Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir (INA) [3] vs. Yoo Yeon Seong / Eom Hye Won (KOR)
WS: Li Xuerui (CHN) [1] vs. Wang Yihan (CHN) [4]
MS: Boonsak Ponsana (THA) [5] vs. Tommy Sugiarto (INA)
WD: Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) [2] vs. Tian Qing / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) [5]
MD: Ko Sung Hyun / Lee Yong Dae (KOR) [1] vs. Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (INA)

Click here for complete semi-final results

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