SINGAPORE OPEN 2013 SF – No double surprises

The doubles events in the Li-Ning Singapore Open Superseries semi-finals were decorated with many tight matches, but in the end, there were few surprises in the results as most favourites […]

The doubles events in the Li-Ning semi-finals were decorated with many tight matches, but in the end, there were few surprises in the results as most favourites claimed their tickets to the finals.

By Serla Rusli, Badzine Correspondent live from Singapore Indoor Stadium. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Olympic champions Tian Qing / Zhao Yunlei (pictured) scraped through the semi-finals after an extremely close fight with Nitya Krishina Maheswari / Greysia Polii, which the Chinese pair finally won 21-16, 13-21, 21-18.

“I think what we were lacking in this match was that we were not consistent in our gameplay. When we managed to catch up to point 18 in the final game, we did not press on; hence we lost the match in the end,” admitted Greysia, who had only rekindled her partnership with Nitya a month ago.

The Chinese finalists will face Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi , who beat another Indonesian pairing in the semi-finals fairly easily in straight games 21-17, 21-16. This final arrangement was a bit of a surprise to the Japanese pair.

“We feel really happy to be in the finals tomorrow. After winning the quarter-finals yesterday, we actually expected to play against Ma/Tang in the semi-final. We have lost to Ma/Tang thrice, and we were actually ready to beat them this time. We were a bit surprised that they lost,” expressed Misaki.

“We were more comfortable and had more confidence to win against the Indonesians, just as what we did today. We will try to challenge the Chinese pair tomorrow, and hopefully win the title.”

This will be a highly anticipated repeat of their Indonesia Open quarter-final just last week, where the Chinese triumphed over the Japanese after a 58-minute battle.

2011 Singapore Open mixed doubles champions, Tontowi Ahmad / Lilyana Natsir (pictured above) will have the chance to bag their second title in Singapore as they cruised to the finals after beating compatriots Praveen Jordan / Vita Marissa in 21-11, 16-21, 21-18.

Yoo Yeon Song / Eom Hye Won will be in their way to stop them from snatching the title yet again. Yoo/Eom reigned over fellow Koreans Shin Baek Cheol / Jang Ye Na 22-20, 21-14. The two finalists will face each other for the first time, of course, as Yoo first paired up with Eom two weeks ago, at the Thailand Open.

Yoo, however, was unable to reenact his win and book two spots in the finals as he and Shin Baek Cheol, who is also Yoo’s men’s doubles partner, were again beaten by world #1 Korean duo Ko Sung Hyun / Lee Yong Dae (pictured), just as they were last Saturday in Jakarta.

On the other side of the men’s doubles draw, the relatively new pairing of Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan created another upset against the reigning Olympic champions, again for a second straight week.

“We did not allow them to get into their game and just controlled the match since the beginning by attacking aggressively,” revealed Hendra.

With the Indonesians advancing to the finals, the spectators can expect an exciting clash between Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (pictured) and the tournament favourites Ko Sung Hyun / Lee Yong Dae for their second consecutive face-off in a Superseries final and their third this year.  Ahsan/Setiawan beat the Koreans last week in Jakarta and would certainly look to repeat their sweet victory.

The Koreans, meanwhile, will certainly be looking to turn the tables and become the first Koreans to win the men’s doubles title in Singapore, amazingly, since Park Joo-Bong / Kim Moon-Soo way back in 1991.  That makes the Singapore Open not only the sole Superseries men’s doubles title never to have gone to Korea – apart from the newly-added India Open – but it is also the major badminton tournament where Korea has by far its longest title drought in what is traditionally its strongest discipline.

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

About Serla Rusli