WORLDS 2015 SF – One chance for Indonesia!

Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan gave the crowd just what they wanted at the BWF World Badminton Championships ensuring their would be a home title highlight to cheer for in […]

Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan gave the crowd just what they wanted at the BWF World Badminton Championships ensuring their would be a home title highlight to cheer for in Istora Senayan.

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

They had to wait all day but the spectators at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta finally got what they had been waiting for.  Shortly before midnight, Asian Games gold medallists Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan (pictured) beat the world #1 Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong to ensure there would be Indonesians on court on finals day.

Three other home team semi-finalists had already proven unable to convert the thunderous cheers into victory, including the host nation’s other Asian Games gold medallists Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, who went down tamely to the defending World and Olympic champions Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei (pictured bottom).

The evening-ending men’s doubles was fast and tight, with each pair trying desperately to avoid lifting the shuttle and going on the defensive.  After dropping the second game, the Koreans began to have more success in the second and at 17-14, it finally looked as if they might pull ahead and tie the match.

Then at 17-all, Yoo Yeon Seong (pictured) jumped to avoid a short serve from Hendra Setiawan and insisted that the call was out.  Yoo also insisted on challenging the call but when the result came back as ‘no decision’, the call stood and the Indonesians were up 18-17.

Facing two match points at 18-20, the Koreans saved one and then Yoo was called for a service fault when his flick serve, which completely fooled Hendra Setiawan, was judged to have been too high.

And then the celebrations began, for Ahsan and Setiawan and for the thousands of their supporters in the stands.

“The other pairs really know well how we play so we have a lot to work on,” said Lee Yong Dae.  “For us, when we play the net if we don’t do it right, we end up defending so if we concentrate on our service and get the net play working then we’ll be able to continue to win.

“Yesterday was a really tough match too and we thought we’d be able to play a good match today too but our net play just wasn’t there.  Our opponents are such good players that we just really have to be right on every time we play them and that’s what we have to prepare for.”

In the jubilant press conference room after the match, Hendra Setiawan said, “We have played so many times against Lee and Yoo and we have lost many times, but I was sure that we would win this one.

“We didn’t think about the final.  We just thought about how to beat the Koreans.

“We played with nothing to lose,” added Ahsan, “because they are the world #1.  We just did our best.”

Their opponents will be Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan (pictured right) of China.  They won in three over Endo and Hayakawa of Japan.  They might have been hoping for a final against the pair they have already beaten in the past but in this case, although, they are winless against the Koreans, playing Ahsan and Setiawan in the final means not only facing one of the world’s best pairs, the one that has just beaten the best, but it also means playing against the world’s most formidable badminton supporters.

Click here for complete semi-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 @