Polii on Rivalry & Friendship with Chang Ye Na

Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Korea’s Chang Ye Na are thick friends off court, but on it the rivalry is fierce, with neither player willing to concede an inch.

Today, in the quarterfinals of the PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2020, Polii and her partner Apriyani Rahayu kept up the intensity all through their 56-minute battle against Chang Ye Na and Kim Hye Rin, beating the Koreans for the first time in three matches, 21-19 21-19.

“We compete against each other, we fight each other on court, even though she is dear to my heart and vice-versa, we fight until the end. I don’t want to give her any point, and she won’t give me any point,” said Polii, reflecting on her friendship with Chang.

Chang Ye Na, a veteran of the circuit like Polii.

Relationships across nations are still relatively uncommon in badminton, although in recent times the old barriers have been breaking.

“We’ve been like this since a long time, we just want to do the best for ourselves and for our country, for our career,” says Polii. “She’s my greatest rival and my great friend also. I think we have the same values in life and we can exchange the positive sides, that’s how we became friends. And I’m glad I found one.

“We know each other well, but we still keep (game) strategy close to ourselves. In this area, we have to keep it private!”

Polii and Rahayu are in their first semifinal since September.

It’s been a while since Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu reached a semifinal. The last was at the Chinese Taipei Open in September, after which they crashed out in the early rounds of six tournaments.

Polii has yet to win a title in Malaysia; she was in the Malaysia Open final back in 2007 with Vita Marissa and the Malaysia Masters final last year with Rahayu.

“The first final I was in was in 2007. Wherever the tournament is we want to be champions. Malaysia Open was my first final, but still, it’s history, and we want to focus on this one,” says Polii.

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