INDONESIA MASTERS SF – Olympic champs knocked out, Polii/Rahayu eyeing the title

Unseeded Danes, Maiken Fruergaard / Sara Thygesen surprisingly managed to step into the round of Indonesia Masters women’s doubles final while the home favourites are also keen for the title. […]

Unseeded Danes, Maiken Fruergaard / Sara Thygesen surprisingly managed to step into the round of women’s doubles final while the home favourites are also keen for the title.

Story: Naomi Indartiningrum, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta
Photos: Jnanesh Salian / Badmintonphoto (live)

The almost one-year lock on major tournaments by women’s doubles pairs from Japan, China, and Korea finally stopped at the 2020 Indonesia Masters.  On semi-finals day, the last remaining representatives from Japan and Korea were shown the door.  In fact, Rio Olympic gold medallists Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi (pictured right) were forced to surrender in straight games to the unseeded pairing of Maiken Fruergaard / Sara Thygesen (pictured top).

Matsutomo/Takahashi actually had a big chance to win in each game. The 4th seeds had a 17-14 lead in the first game, while in the second game, they had what looked like a commanding lead at 14-9.

However, the Danes managed to turn the score at crucial points and the 4th seeded pair could not get out from under the pressure exerted by the opponent.  Each game ended by the perilously close score of 22-20 in favour of the European side.

“I’m so proud of us,” said Thygesen with a big smile after the match.  “Mentally, we kept this all the way through.  It was quite tough, they played very well, and they made us work all the time.”

“Sometimes I think I played a little bit too safe today.  Also there were several mistakes but I think we stepped up at the right moments, which is in the end of the game and that’s why we have a win today,” Fruergaard added.

This victory is so meaningful for Thygesen/Fruergaard because this is the first time they managed to beat the Olympic gold medallists.  Also with the success of going the final round for the first time this year.

“This win means a lot for our confidence.  We knew that we could play along with them, if we did our best.  It’s really nice to beat them. It’s still surreal,” admitted Fruergaard.

In the final match tomorrow, they will face none other than the home pair, Greysia Polii / Apriyani Rahayu (pictured right).

Polii/Rahayu advance to the final after defeating Korea’s representative, Kim So Yeong / Kong Hee Yong (pictured bottom).  Since the Indonesians won the India Open last March, the women’s doubles title at every tournament at level or above, as well as the Asian and World Championships, has been won by a pair from Japan, Korea, and China, with Kim/Kong accounting for two of the four won by Korea.

This victory was the first time for the Indonesians to beat Kim/Kong, who first beat them last year in this same venue.  Rahayu said that she hopes that this positive trend can continue in the final of the Indonesia Masters 2020.

The final of the Indonesia Masters 2020 will be the second final for Polii/Rahayu. In the 2018 edition, they failed to win when they were defeated by Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi.

Finals line-up
XD:  Zheng Siwei / Huang Yaqiong (CHN) [1] vs. Wang Yilyu / Huang Dongping (CHN) [2]
WS:  Ratchanok Intanon (CHN) [4] vs. Carolina Marin (CHN)
MD:  Marcus Fernaldi Gideon / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (INA) [1] vs. Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan (INA) [2]
WD:  Greysia Polii / Apriyani Rahayu (INA) [8] vs. Maiken Fruergaard / Sara Thygesen (DEN)
MS:  Anders Antonsen (DEN) [4] vs. Anthony Ginting (INA) [7]

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.