INDONESIA OPEN 2019 R32 – Chan/Goh on fire for revenge mission

Malaysian mixed pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying on fire to claim their Indonesia Open 2019 title in Jakarta.  They start their journey with a great result against home players […]

Malaysian mixed pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying on fire to claim their 2019 title in Jakarta.  They start their journey with a great result against home players in a tight match.

Story: Naomi Indartiningrum and Nadhira Rahmani, Badzine Correspondents live in Jakarta
Photos: Yves Lacroix / Badmintonphoto (live)

Malaysian mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying managed to advance to the second round in the 2019Indonesia Open, through a tight rubber game battle with Indonesian pair, Ronald / Annisa Saufika.

The first game was used by both pairs to explore each other’s games while adapting to the court condition.  Ronald/Saufika managed to win the first game, 16-21.

Losing the opener made the world #5 pair perform aggressively at the start of the second game, when they scored the first four points in succession.  The domination of the 2016 Olympic silver medallists continued and made it difficult for the home pair to develop a pattern of play.  Chan/Goh led 11-2 at the interval of the second game and finally closed the second game with a score of 21-7 in 14 minutes.

Having a great lead made Chan/Goh feel more confident in the third game while the Indonesian pair seemed to have lost hope and the Malaysians continued their roll until finally, a return by Ronald out of the court gave victory to the veteran pair with a score of 21-11.

“We didn’t play well at the start of the first game because we were unfamiliar with the conditions of the shuttlecock and the wind on the court so that it disturbed our confidence,” Goh said.  “Luckily today’s good fortune can lead us to victory.”

Chan/Goh have the ambition of getting this year’s Indonesia Open title after the retirement of Liliyana Natsir.  Last year, they managed to reach the final and repeat the Olympic mixed doubles final of Rio de Jainero 2016, by meeting Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir but were forced to concede defeat in the end.

“Although Ahmad is no longer playing with Natsir, I still want to try to defeat him,” Chan said.  “If we can win this tournament, why not?  But as far as our target goes, I still will just try my best one match at a time.”

In the next round, Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying will meet with Korea’s only mixed doubles representatives, Seo Seung Jae / Chae Yoo Jung (pictured).

Tontowi today’s special supporter

Retiring from badminton doesn’t mean that Liliyana Natsir is completely out of the spotlight during this year’s Indonesia Open.  As seen on Wednesday, Liliyana Natsir visited Istora to watch her former partner, Tontowi Ahmad, who is now paired with Winny Oktavina Kandow.

Ahmad and Kandow sent India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy / Ashwini Ponnappa home, beating them 21-13, 21-11.

The Indonesian pair did not find any difficulties overcome the Indian pair.  They admitted that they had had good preparation before the match.

“We started the game well and played convincingly until the last game, and our opponents were unable to develop their game,” said Ahmad.

Ahmad, whose next match in Jakarta will fall on his 32nd birthday, admitted that Liliyana Natsir is the one who always reminds him to guide his less experienced current partner: “Liliyana told me to reduce my nerve on court, to play calm, and guide my partner in every situation.  I was asked to not be too hard on her.”

When asked about how is he holding up with his current partner, he said, “The feeling of missing Liliyana’s presence still haunts me vividly, but life goes on, and I have to keep up the pace.  If I let the feeling get the better of me, I would not be able to grow.”

Men’s seeds battle through

In the men’s doubles first round, Takeshi Kamura / Keigo Sonoda made it to the next round after overthrowing Malaysian pairs, Goh V Shem / Tan Wee Kiong with a score of 21-17, 19-21, and 14-21.

Meanwhile, the 4th seeded men’s doubles pair Hendra Setiawan / Mohammad Ahsan managed to win an exciting fight against England’s Marcus Ellis / Chris Langridge (pictured right).  Even though the 2013 champions recorded their victory in two straight games, the senior pair had to sweat for 51 minutes to finish the game with a score of 28-26, 21-17.

Click here for complete Wednesday results

About Nadhira Rahmani