SUDIRMAN CUP 2015 SF – China’s fast track to the final

China succeeded in stopping Indonesia’s attempted doubles sweep at the 2015 Vivo Sudirman Cup in Dongguan as Tang Yuanting and Yu Yang took down the Asian Games gold medallists in […]

China succeeded in stopping Indonesia’s attempted doubles sweep at the 2015 Vivo in Dongguan as Tang Yuanting and Yu Yang took down the Asian Games gold medallists in three thrilling games to send the home team to the final.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live)

The first three matches of the semi-final were all extremely quick but ran the gamut from thrills to tragedy.  First up were 2013 men’s doubles World Champions Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (pictured) against the reigning Olympic champions Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng.  Ahsan exhibited flawless court coverage throughout the match and Hendra Setiawan was his usual calm, lethal self at the net.

The Chinese worked to take the advantage in the bottom half of the second game but the Indonesians wasted no time in taking back the lead.  The scores stayed close but the rallies stayed short and the world #3 finished it off in just over half an hour to give the challengers the early advantage.

Sadly, the women’s singles was over literally as soon as it began.  After a good start and a brilliant push past Olympic champion Li Xuerui, Indonesia’s Bellaetrix Manuputty (pictured) felt her left knee give out and she crumpled to the floor in pain.  Manuputty picked herself up for one more point but her knee went again and she gave into the heartbreak, ceding the match to Li to even the tie at 1-all after just over an hour of play.

Chen Long did finally produce a one-sided scoreline against Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie (pictured bottom) but not before the 17-year-old had shown some incredible creativity and put the World Champion under plenty of pressure.  Still, Chen remained too consistent and Christie was forced to go for the lines too often in efforts to finish the rallies.

It was the women’s doubles that really got the crowd into it.  It was a hard-hitting affair with much longer rallies than in the men’s doubles and of course, the Chinese pair also won more of them.  What’s more, the home favourites Tang Yuanting and Yu Yang (pictured) had to come from behind to win it.

Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari showed consistency and precision attacks in the first game but once they’d taken it 21-17, the Chinese came roaring back to take the second by the identical score.  The challengers stayed close in the decider until Tang and Yu began to run away with it, starting just before the interval.  The Indonesians scrambled to extend a thrilling rally when they trailed 13-19 but the home pair still forced it to match point and they could begin celebrated a few rallies later when they had closed it out 21-15.

The women’s doubles was the only match to run over an hour in a four-match tie that only approached the three-hour mark because of a long pause to allow the men’s singles players to finish warming up after the shocking early finish to the women’s singles.  The Chinese still had plenty of time to rest up and await the 7PM Korea-Japan tie that would determine their opponent for Sunday afternoon.

Sudirman Cup Semi-final 1 result: China 3, Indonesia 1
MD: Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng (CHN) lost to Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (INA) 16-21, 17-21
WS: Li Xuerui (CHN) beat Bellaetrix Manuputty (INA)  3-5 [Retired]
MS: Chen Long (CHN) beat Jonatan Christie (INA)  21-10, 21-15
WD: Tang Yuanting / Yu Yang (CHN) beat Nitya Krishinda Maheswari / Greysia Polii (INA)  17-21, 21-17, 21-15
XD: Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) vs. Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir (INA) [not played]

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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 @