INDIA OPEN 2015 QF – Tommy joins the select few

Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto is still two steps away from a title at the 2015 Yonex-Sunrise India Open Superseries but he has already achieved an even bigger milestone: he has beaten […]

Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto is still two steps away from a title at the 2015 Yonex-Sunrise but he has already achieved an even bigger milestone: he has beaten the great Lin Dan.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

You can count on two hands the number of active players who have beaten the great Lin Dan and today Tommy Sugiarto (pictured) added his name to that short list.  The total of nine, incidentally, includes Boonsak Ponsana and Lee Hyun Il, neither of whom have seen such success in the last 7 years, but not Simon Santoso or Kenichi Tago, whose recorded wins came with Lin Dan retiring from the match.

Sugiarto came into the match having suffered three losses to Lin in the past.  He could dare to dream when leading 15-10 in the deciding game but he let his concentration lapse as Lin Dan caught up and inched past him before the Indonesian put the pedal to the floor and finished it 21-17.

Lin Dan’s loss leaves Xue Song as the sole remaining Chinese player in either singles draw.  Xue won in three games over R. M. V. Gurusaidutt.  Viktor Axelsen’s dispatching of H. S. Prannoy means that India, too, will be down to a single shuttler, at least in the men’s game.  However, Japan’s Takuma Ueda did not make it easy for Kidambi Srikanth, saving three match points in the second game and pulling to within one point late in the third before Srikanth finally finished it off 21-15, 23-25, 21-18.

Even higher hopes for India are for the women’s singles, where Yui Hashimoto joins next week’s world #1 and #2 and the former World Champion in the semi-finals.

Saina Nehwal made quick work of Indonesia’s Hana Ramadhini to make it one more step toward the title that she has not won since it became a Superseries event.  Her match against Yui could determine whether Saina becomes the world #1 next Thursday.

Meanwhile, the other semi-final will be between the current and former World Champions.  Reigning champion Carolina Marin – who also has a shot at becoming world #1 next week, but only if Saina loses her semi-final – will be looking for her first ever win over her predecessor Ratchanok Intanon (pictured), who is also a former champion at the India Open.

As with the early rounds, the doubles draws have continued to serve up only minor upsets.  The first came with the loss of Swiss Open champions Lu Kai / Huang Yaqiong  to 7th-seeded Indonesians Praveen Jordan / Debby Susanto (pictured).

In women’s doubles, top seeds Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi were on the losing end of a strong, late push in their first game against Korea’s two-time World Junior Champions Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan but they dominated throughout most of the next two to book their place in the semi-finals.  China is assured of one spot in the women’s doubles final as both Bao/Tang and the Luo twins won their quarter-final matches.

Click here for complete quarter-final results

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @