INDONESIA OPEN 2016 SF – Farewell for Marin, new champions ahead

Istora Senayan has been a favourite place for some shuttlers who admit that this is their second home. Being able to win a title here is a dream for the […]

Istora Senayan has been a favourite place for some shuttlers who admit that this is their second home. Being able to win a title here is a dream for the players because here badminton is very big and everybody sincerely loves badminton so much. Last year, the had new winners and this year it will be the case again.

By Naomi Indartiningrum, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Matsutomo/Takahashi into their first final in Indonesia

The world #1, Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi appeared as the first one to play their semi-final match and they were also the first ones to secure a berth in the finals. Matsutomo/Takahashi were just too strong for Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek as they appeared doughty since the first game. The Japanese pair only needed two games to dash the Dutch ladies’ hopes of a first ever final.

“We are very happy that we can go to play in the final. In previous Indonesia Opens, we always got bad results and we have never played in the final here before. During the match today, we didn’t have any difficulties handling our rivals.  Maybe they ran out of energy because of their tight match yesterday against the Indonesians. We took advantage from that,” Misaki Matsutomo said.

Matsutomo/Takahashi have shown great consistency during 2016 with 4 finals, in Malaysia, England, India and Singapore. This Indonesia Open’s final will be their fifth final this year.

Cheered by the crowd but failed to win

Another world #1, Carolina Marin, was strongly supported by the whole crowd in Istora Senayan from the moment she stepped onto the court. She started very aggressively in the first game against Wang Yihan and won it 21-16.

Wang, who is still hoping to be one of the two Chinese representatives in the Rio Olympics, didn’t want to lose the match. The 28-year-old shuttler started to attack more and put Marin under lot of pressure. The London Olympics silver medallist took the second game 21-11. In the third game, Wang continued to move Marin all around the court and this strategy definitely made the World Champion struggle and Wang finally took the third game, 21-17.

“Today’s match was very tough for me. She is a strong rival. The wind on the court was very strong and sometimes I got annoyed by that windy court,” said Wang Yihan.

This loss is definitely disappointing for Marin, who really wanted to win a title in Indonesia, as she did in the Worlds in Jakarta last summer.

“I’m really disappointed with my match, especially with the way I played today in the second and the third games,” said Marin.  “I started really well in the first game but I was nervous and I couldn’t do my best in the second game. In the third game, I tried my best but it wasn’t easy as she was playing better than me and I was making easy mistakes.”

In tomorrow’s match, the 2011 winner will be facing another strong opponent in Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying.  Tai won against Wang Yihan’s compatriot, Wang Shixian 21-9, 21-15 in just 35 minutes.

Lee/Yoo eye their third title this year

After losing in the semi-final of last year’s Indonesia Open, world #1 Lee and Yoo got a spot in final of the 2016 edition. The Koreans earned a spot in the final by beating the on-fire pair from Denmark, Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup in the semi-final on Saturday. The Korean stars had difficulties in the beginning of the match but they were able to control better after the 11-point break. They finally won 21-16, 21-14.

“In the beginning of the match, we already played quite well but we got nervous against the Danes but we kept trying to play freely and aggressively. This strategy actually really helped to win the game,” Lee said.

The court was very windy and we were not that focussed on the first game. I didn’t play really well but  luckily Lee was able to cover my position,” Yoo added.

The Asian Champions hope to keep their promise to win the title as they have been cheered by the Indonesian crowd since the first day they played in Jakarta: “I have a responsibility to win this tournament to show my gratitude towards our fans in Indonesia,” Yoo said.

The Korean men’s doubles have a good record of championships in Indonesia Open. Lee Yong Dae had already been a winner in Indonesia Open twice – in 2009 and 2012 – with his former partner Jung Jae Sung when he won again in 2014 with Yoo Yeon Seong. Other Korean pair, Ko Sung Hyun / Shin Baek Cheol also got their first ever Superseries title here last year. Will Korean representatives win again this year and take a 5th Indonesia Open title for the country in 8 years?  The answer will come on Sunday when they take on China’s Hong Wei and Chai Biao.

The final of the men’s singles will feature Jan Jorgensen against Lee Chong Wei while the mixed will see Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na take on Xu Chen and Ma Jin.  None of the finals will see a match between compatriots.

Finals line-up
WD:  Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) [1] vs. Tang Yuanting / Yu Yang (CHN) [3]
XD:  Ko Sung Hyun / Kim Ha Na (KOR) [3] vs. Xu Chen / Ma Jin (CHN) [5]
MS:  Lee Chong Wei [2] vs. Jan O Jorgensen (DEN) [5]
MD:  Lee Yong Dae / Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) [1] vs. Chai Biao / Hong Wei (CHN) [5]
WS:  Wang Yihan (CHN) [4] vs. Tai Tzu Ying (TPE)

Click here for complete semi-final results

Naomi Indartiningrum

About Naomi Indartiningrum

Naomi began as a Badzine Correspondent in 2015, while still a Business Management student living in Jakarta. A badminton enthusiast since 2007, she mostly spends her spare time writing about local badminton events and also maintaining one of largest badminton twitter accounts in Indonesia.