WORLDS 2015 QF – Sung, Linda to play underdogs in Jakarta semis

Sung Ji Hyun and Linda Weni Fanetri will be the ones taking on the top two seeds in the women’s singles semi-finals of the BWF World Badminton Championships. By Don […]

Sung Ji Hyun and Linda Weni Fanetri will be the ones taking on the top two seeds in the women’s singles semi-finals of the BWF World Badminton Championships.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

By the end of the day, it was clear that the top two seeds would be through to the women’s singles semi-finals at the BWF World Badminton Championships.  While Carolina Marin and Saina Nehwal were the ones creating history by ensuring that the final four would be without Chinese participation for the first time since the Chinese began competing in the Worlds, the challenges facing Sung Ji Hyun and Linda Weni Fanetri (pictured)were no less daunting.

The challenge faced by Linda Weni Fanetri had to be the toughest.  The Indonesian, ranked 30th in the world, was facing the world #4.  She may have already beaten Tai Tzu Ying (pictured below) this year, at the Indonesia Open in fact, but when Tai was a game up and leading 20-14 in the second, it seemed to be all over.

But Linda’s entire tournament has been a kind of fairy-tale and that was what we saw unfold next.  The unseeded Indonesian snatched up the next 8 points in succession to force a deciding game, which she also won to book her spot in the semi-finals.

“Today I am very happy and relieved,” said Linda Weni Fanetri after her match.  “When my opponent became mistake-prone, it was my turning point, where I finally managed to improve my style of game and began to gain confidence.

“Right now, I have proved that what my coach said was true: that we can even reach the sky if we are not afraid.”

For Sung Ji Hyun (pictured bottom), she had the task of trying to block Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (pictured below) from her third straight World Championship semi-final appearance.  Not only that, but Sindhu was on a roll after being the first to send one of the mighty Chinese packing and she came in with a winning record against the Korean.

“When I first played Sindhu, the fact that she was even taller than me made me a little nervous so I think I was a little timid defending against her but I’ve trained to be stronger on defense so I think I’m playing better against her these days.”

This was the longest match of the day, at one hour and 22 minutes.  Sung got out to a big lead in the first game and although she blew a number of game points, she managed to avoid the fate that had befallen Tai Tzu Ying and finished it off 21-17.  Sung threatened to catch Sindhu in the second but came up short and had to wait for the third, when she led from start to finish.

The win pits Sung in the semi-final against defending champion Carolina Marin, who beat Sung at the Worlds two years ago.  In fact, the only win Sung has against Marin is the German Open final of this year, when Marin was shown two red cards and completely lost her focus.

Asked what it will take to beat the defending champion, Sung said, “Marin is a powerful player and she is very fast so if I can just try my best to match her speed and be solid on defense then I think I have the chance to beat her.

“I think that on the whole, the Korean players seem to be very popular with Indonesian fans so I think there will be fans supporting Carolina Marin and fans supporting me, so I think it will work out.”

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 @