Jun 21, 2009

INDONESIA OPEN - Semi Final Result: Taufik and Chong Wei for MS final

Lee Chong Wei and Taufik Hidayat will meet in Sunday’s final of the Djarum Indonesia Open Super Series 2009, while Wang Lin and Saina Nehwal will INA SEMI JUNG LEE 90fight for the title in the women’s singles final. China, Korea and Malaysia will aim at doubles after powerhouses Denmark and Indonesia were ousted in the semis today.

Taufik Hidayat will be Indonesia’s sole hope to clinch a title tomorrow Sunday, in a tournament where the locals have usually had their share of gold INA SEMI - SonyDwiKuncoromedals. It was in 2007 that the local boys and girls failed to deliver and finished empty handed while China had swept four medals and left one for Malaysia - Lee Chong Wei. Fate could repeat itself on Sunday, in Jakarta, as Taufik Hidayat will be facing world number one and best friend Lee Chong Wei for another classical showdown.

As might have been expected given the focus of Taufik and his absence from Singapore last week, Taufik defeated his compatriot Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who was the title holder here in 2008. Not that the younger Dwi Kuncoro hasn’t had the edge over Taufik in the past – he’s defeated him in an Asian Championship final before – but Indonesia is Taufik’s garden and the six times winner here – the first in 1999, is never better than on home soil.

And oddly enough, there were coaches on the benches – something that usually doesn’t happen when compatriots play each other but the public had taken part and was clearly showing its support to Taufik. Sony was in the lead in the first nine points of the game. That was it. Other times, his compatriot was ahead and took 47 minutes to beat him 21/17 – 21/14. The boss was in total control in spite of Sony’s soft play and mastery of the net – a strategic part of the court where, in charge, Taufik saw on many occasions his opponent lift up the shuttle to place an attack and win the point.

“I think he was not so fit today but I am glad I won. Now, things will be easier to win my seventh title. I think I have a 50 / 50 chance, no matter if I play Chen Jin or Lee Chong Wei” hinted the Indonesian.

Taufik will need all the energy to play Lee Chong Wei, who, in spite of having said he wasn’t in a great shape for the past two weeks, proved he was still to be counted upon – the world number one took just as much time – one minute less - to beat Chen Jin in straight games.

The Malaysian had more difficulties in the second game that he finally won 22/20 after failing to convert 2 match points at 20/18. Lee is however aware of Taufik’s state of form : “He is much better than in the All England and Swiss Open. He is practicing by himself and has gotten better. His stamina and the way he handles his emotions are better than before. It will be a tough match tomorrow. I will watch for his net play and attacks” said Chong Wei after his 21/15 – 22/20 success over the former double world junior champion.

INA SEMIS Saina India

Saina Nehwal and Wang Lin have one thing in common – on top of a match they’ve just played recently in the Aviva Singapore Open and the fact that they will both be in Sunday’s finals : they are the two former world Junior Champions, in 2008 and 2007 respectively. And they showed Saturday in the center court that they were definitely belonging to the senior circuit, handling pressure in the best manner.

Wang Lin ended Xie Xingfang’s run to the final – and deprived her once again for a chance at Gold – in just 31 minutes and with a score of 21/19 – 21/13 as the tall Chinese looked absent in her game. For Saina Nehwal, things were way more difficult, in spite of having an Indonesian coach by her side, and the public support as she was facing arch rivals China. In the last match of the day, the 19 year old Indian stunned Lu Lan, saving one game point in the first game before nailing it 25/23 and once again finding the resources to score the remaining two points at 19/19 in the second, making it to her first Super Series Final ever, which led Saina to cry after the match.

“It’s the first time I see her cry like that but it was a very dramatic match” said her coach Atik. “We had watched how Lu Lan lost in Singapore and we played on her weak points – the high and low back and, and avoided the forehand. Now, for tomorrow, it will be a tough match. They know each other very well. But in spite of last week’s defeat, I think Saina will have more motivation to win this time. No matter what, it’s a great performance for Saina here. I still want her to become world number 1. After the Malaysia Grand Prix, we will go home and train hard for the World Championships at home” said Atik.

INA SEMIS CHUNG Le

Lee Young Dae is certainly the most popular of all non Indonesian players and it showed when he was not playing against local players. And the young Indonesian girls will have someone to cheer for apart from Taufik on Sunday, as the young Korean ensured two spots in the finals.

In the mixed doubles, he and Lee Hyo Jung defeated Denmark’s Joachim Fischer-Nielsen and Chrstinna Pedersen in the first match of the day, 21/13 – 21/13. The Koreans had their share of drama but it wasn’t because of the tight score, but because Lee Young Dae hit Lee Hyo Jung with his racket, which left the tall Korean on her knees for few minutes with bleeding lips. After few minutes and a doctor on court, things were back to normal, and the Olympic Champions went on for an easy victory. They will face again their Nemesis, China’s Zheng Bo and Ma Jin, who have defeated them for the past four times with no success over Zheng Bo in the past eight meetings for Lee and Lee.

But the match of the day was in the men’s double, where Lee Young Dae was back in business with his partner Jung Jae Sung to play home heroes Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan. In spite of an amazing support for the local boys, it was the Koreans who finally got the best of the match and secured a 21/19 – 21/17 victory in a battle of lightening smashes from both sides – the public was standing and smashing along with their compatriots. But the Koreans were more efficient.

“We knew it was going to be difficult to play here against them, but a match is a match, and you never know who can pull it off on a day. I just tried to concentrate and not worry about the spectators. We had watched videos to see our opponent’s weaknesses. We had some problems in the first game, but we adapted after that” said Lee Young Dae in a quick post match interview.

INA SEMI WANG LINFor Kido and Setiawan, the pressure and Kido’s knees were amongst the reasons they gave for their defeat: “Honestly, the pressure was very hard to cope with here – we are world number one, Olympic Champions and everyone expected us to win. But the Koreans were very strong today. They played all rallies very well, and we had to use a lot of strategy to beat them, but we failed. The fact that my knee is not yet 100 % didn’t help” said Kido.

The Koreans will play China’s Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng, who played an astonishing match to beat Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in another highlight of the day, taking their ticket to the final in three games 18/21 – 21/11 – 21/15.

China will have a shot at 4 medals again on Sunday, and fate could repeat itself from 6 years ago when Lee Chong Wei had scooped the remaining title. But Malaysia could very well scoop two gold medals, with Wong Pei Tty and Chin Hee Hui who battled hard to enter their first Super Series final of the year. The current world number one beat Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Wen Hsing and Chien Yu Chin 21/17 – 21/17 and will face world’s number two in the name of Cheng Shu and Zhao Yunlei, who spent over half an hour as well in their winning quest against Koreans Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung 21/12 – 21/13

Finals for Sunday

MS : Lee Chong Wei (MAL) Vs Taufik Hidayat (INA)


WS : Saina Nehwal (
IND) Vs Wang Lin (CHN)


MD : Cai/Fu (CHN) Vs Lee/Jung (KOR)


WD : Chin/Wong (MAL) Vs Cheng/Zhao (CHN)


XD : Lee/Lee (KOR) Vs Zheng/Ma (CHN)

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