MACAU OPEN 2014 Finals – Second strings shine

Edi Subaktiar / Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja made the most of their first ever Grand Prix Gold final, winning a nail-biter of a mixed doubles match to finish off 2014 in […]

Edi Subaktiar / Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja made the most of their first ever Gold final, winning a nail-biter of a mixed doubles match to finish off 2014 in style, winning the 2014 .

By Dwi Basuki Wahyu Setia Sudarmadi.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

With first string players at home after Hong Kong Open, many of them preparing for Destination Dubai Superseries Final, in Macau, their back-up team-mates were pursuing last chance achievement of the year, and none of them had it easy on finals day.

Edi Subaktiar / Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja (pictured above) finally engraved their names as players that successfully transformed junior success into senior stage.  Considering that Edi Subaktiar and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja were World Junior Champions in 2012 and 2011 respectively, their achievement in this tournament is a bit late if it is compared to Chen Qingchen, who already had two Grand Prix Gold titles within 12 months of winning her first World Junior title.  Subaktiar and Widjaja couldn’t hide the fact that they had been waiting for a win like this for a long time as they reacted by crying emotionally.

Of course, it was also a long time that they spent on court.  The Indonesians should have won in the second game as they led 20–17 but Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Vanessa Neo refused to give up and saved all three match point, plus five more beyond 20-all, when the lead alternated and the pairs traded shouts with every point won.

While Chrisnanta committed too many service errors, Gloria seemed too nervous to take the wining point and the game went all the way to the sudden death point at 29-all.  Edi Subaktiar made an error on his return that awarded the Singapore pair the second game 30-29.  However, finals day just wasn’t a good serving day for Danny as he made many errors, including the last that gave Indonesian pair the 1st match point in the third game.  It was wide return from Danny that finally ended the difficultly and the Indonesian pair were able to conclude the match.

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu had to face challenge from 18-year-old Kim Hyo Min (pictured above), promising talent from Korea, to defend her title. For Sindhu, it was her last chance this year to secure her own flash of success after her compatriot Saina Nehwal won two Superseries this season.

Kim may have beaten the 2012 champion in the semi-finals but she just wasn’t able to pull off a fourth upset in a row. Sindhu’s experience paid off as she showed who is better at handling final match situation.

An all-Chinese women’s doubles final presented a clash between ex-partners of Chinese star Bao Yixin, recently ranked #1.  Ou Dongni was Bao’s partner when they won the girls’ doubles title at the 2010 World Junior Championships and Ou’s opponent Zhong Qianxin was Bao’s partner when these two created many major upsets and reached #2 in the world just before they were separated.  On Sunday afternoon, Ou Dongni was luckier than Zhao Qianxin in term of having better partnership.  Ou’s partner Yu Xiaohan displayed very strong defense and attacking as this pair repeated their success from the Bitburger Open earlier this month.

Wong Wing Ki has had a roller coaster career and today seemed like a golden opportunity for the man who is in the exclusive group of players who have beaten Lin Dan.  But again he missed the chance to add more to his reputation than just that of a one-time giant-killer.  His loss in the Macau Open men’s singles final was to Xue Song, who was able to show a repeat of his performance in the India Open Grand Prix Gold.  Roaring and throwing his winning jersey, he celebrated in the same style he did in India, suggesting that this could be his signature in the future if he continues to have the victories to celebrate.

There is a serious question within the Indonesian national team related to who the next men’s doubles pair will be to maintain the greatness after Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.  Their second string – excluding world #11 professionals Gideon Markus Fernaldi/Markis Kido – are out of world’s top 15.  In Macau, scratch pair Angga Pratama / Ricky Karanda Suwardi were not able to prove themselves ready to receive the baton.  They lost to the Singapore pair in straight games but that allowed Danny Bawa Chrisnanta (pictured above with Chayut Triyachart) to avoid going back home empty-handed.

Final results
XD: Edi Subaktiar / Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja (INA) [7] beat Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Vanessa Neo (SIN) [3]  21-15, 29-30, 22-20
WD: Ou Dongni / Yu Xiaohan (CHN) beat Huang Yaqiong / Zhong Qianxin (CHN) [6]  19-21, 21-19, 21-7
WS: P. V. Sindhu (IND) [2] beat Kim Hyo Min (KOR)  21-12, 21-17
MS: Xue Song (CHN) [11] beat Wong Wing Ki (HKG) [6]  16-21, 21-13, 21-19
MD: Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Chayut Triyachart (SIN) [2] beat Angga Pratama / Ricky Karanda Suwardi (INA) [6]  21-19, 22-20

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