Indonesia enjoyed a spectacular Saturday at the Daihatsu Indonesia Masters 2018, earning a shot at four titles in Jakarta.
After top seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir won an all-Indonesian Mixed Doubles semi-final against Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti, things went perfectly for the hosts.
Anthony Ginting overcame the loss of the second game to outplay Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen 21-16 13-21 21-12 in the Men’s Singles semi-finals.
In the final, he will face Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai, who also overcame mid-match blues to beat fourth seed Son Wan Ho (Korea), 21-18 20-22 21-15.
Women’s Doubles saw home pair Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu score a creditable victory over fifth seeds Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan in a match that went 69 minutes.
The Indonesians take on Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, who prevailed over Malaysia Masters winners Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl in a 75-minute marathon, 23-25 21-15 21-16.
Men’s Doubles top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo were never threatened by India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty as they eased through 21-14 21-11. Up next for the Minions are second seeds Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen, who held off Chinese compatriots and World champions Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan 26-24 14-21 21-12.
The only final without Indonesian presence will be the Women’s Singles. India’s Saina Nehwal overcame Malaysia Masters champion Ratchanok Intanon in a tight match, 21-19 21-19, and will take on top seed Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei), who was triumphant over China’s He Bingjiao 19-21 21-15 21-15. Nehwal will have recent history against her as she has lost their last six encounters.
“It was tough,” Nehwal said, talking of her recent injury troubles. “After knee surgery, an ankle problem. When your time is bad, it is bad. So, I am happy that I came out of it. I kept myself relaxed and calm. I was finding ways on how to win. So finally the winning happened.
“For me last season was not good. I was losing first, second round or maximum quarter-finals. So the training that I did before this, two weeks after the PBL (Premier Badminton League), was quite good. I’m not really up to the mark but I am happy that I am moving well.
“I think being a lower ranked player is very tough. From the first round you are playing very tough opponents. I am happy that in the first match I played Chen Yufei and came back to win. I think that really made me open up to play the big matches. So now I have the confidence that I can play long match. So I am not worried about winning or losing but I have the confidence that I can play a long match.”
Talking about her final, Nehwal said she was confident.
“I have the confidence, because I have beaten these players before. But the touch was missing. I was not able to cross the rounds because my fitness was not up to the mark. But in this tournament, I can see that my fitness is good. I’m able to hit well, move well. So automatically the results are coming.
“The crowd here really supports me and hopefully, it will be like a dream come true tomorrow.”
The Mixed Doubles final will feature Ahmad/Natsir against China’s Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, who were comfortable winners over Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai, 21-18 21-14.