INDONESIA OPEN 2016 R16 – Ahmad must wait for 1st home title

Indonesia’s top mixed doubles pair, Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir were dumped from the second round of the Indonesia Open by reunited Danish pair, Kim Astrup / Line Kjaersfeldt. By […]

Indonesia’s top mixed doubles pair, Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir were dumped from the second round of the by reunited Danish pair, Kim Astrup / Line Kjaersfeldt.

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

World #3 Tontowi Ahmad / and Liliayana Natsir may have collected a World Championship and multiple All England titles to their names but one title that has yet eluded them is their home , the Indonesia Open.  Nor will 2016 be the year.

Ahmad/Natsir, who were playing with the wholehearted support from the Jakarta crowd, started to attack Danes Kim Astrup and Line Kjaersfeldt (pictured above) from the first game. Unfortunately, the 2011 European Junior Champions also played their best and made it very tough for Ahmad/Natsir to take a point.  Unable to handle the pressure, the Indonesians let their narrow lead slip away and with it went the first game 19-21.

“We are under-performing today. Our rivals is just a new pair but they seemed to enjoy playing more while we were under a lot of pressure. We also made many mistakes and were not relaxed in the critical points and that allowed them to overcome any fear they might have of meeting us for the first time,” said Natsir.

“I’m so disappointed and I admit that I’m under-performing. There is some pressure that I really want to win this because have never won the Indonesia open,” said Tontowi Ahmad (pictured).

The home representatives were under pressure after losing the first game and were very eager to take the second and third games but that hope unfortunately added to the pressure, as did the crowd’s desire for them to win. The world #3 had an opportunity after leading 11-5 in the second game but a comeback by Denmark, coupled with some controversy stood in the way.

Late in the game, Line Kjaersfeldt smashed to the back court and the line judge called it was out only to have the umpire correct the call and give the point to the Danish pair.  Indonesian coach Richard Mainaky was very angry and even threw a towel at the official but in the end, the Danes won it 21-17.

“We felt aggrieved with the referee’s decision about Line’s smash but we shouldn’t take it as a reason for our loss today. We should evaluate our performance as we continue to prepare for the Olympics,” said Natsir.

“I’m really happy about it, we didn’t expect this,” said Line Kjaersfeldt. Today we had everything to win and nothing to lose we just gave it our all and tried to be satisfied about every point that we got and we won the game at the end, it was amazing.”

“We just tried to relax and stay calm even though there was amazing atmosphere in there.  We just tried to have fun and there was always a strategy but it’s a secret,” Astrup added.

With this result, Indonesia is left with just one representative in mixed doubles.  Alfian Eko Prasetya / Annisa Saufika (pictured) dominated Arends/Piek of the Netherlands and will next face none other than the world #1, Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei.

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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.