YONEX Thailand Open: Plucky Duo Vault into Semifinals

A tense quarterfinal, a lot of it featuring intense jockeying around the net, ended with Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin continuing their stirring journey at the YONEX Thailand Open.

The Indonesian 19-year-olds couldn’t have had a better start to the New Year, making the semifinals of the World Tour Super 1000 event with a 12-21 21-14 21-15 victory over DANISA Denmark Open champions Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge.

The experience of the England duo was pitted against the youthful energy of the world junior champions, and this time round, youth trumped experience. Carnando and Marthin made the right decisions at critical moments and capitalised on a few lapses by their opponents to clinch their semifinal place.

“It was a cat-and-mouse game,” recalled a downcast Ellis.

The Indonesians had given very little away with their serves, and after 13-all in the third, their play at the front court stayed sharp while the English wavered just that little bit. With the end of the match in sight, and with Carnando serving superbly, there was some gamesmanship as both pairs tried to extract advantage. Carnando, distracted, served into the net, but Langridge couldn’t take advantage and he returned the favour.

“We never expected to go this far but anything can happen on the court. We had to stay cool,” said Marthin.

The England pair rued the lapse in focus in the third game that cost them the match.

“It’s hard to think of it with a clear mind now,” said Ellis. “We started fantastically well and were in control of every part of the match. But credit to them, they stepped up in the second game and pushed us back. I think we struggled to change our game and that’s how the game went on in the second and third game.

“In the second and third there were shorter rallies and maybe the game was a lot more closed down around the net. That suits their style, that’s where they are strongest. It was a game of cat and mouse. For the most part, they forced us to play that way. You have to say credit to them.”

Langridge blamed the loss on his lapses in focus in the third game.

“We just gave them too many easy points. That’s the frustrating thing, we fell into a few traps, we just made some simple unforced errors. I wish them the best of luck in the rest of the tournament, but I’m looking forward to getting a chance to play them again.

“In the third game we were 8-4. I made four bad mistakes. A moment of switching off, then a moment of snatching, then a good rally, then all of a sudden it was 8-all in a flash. And you just can’t do that, can’t give easy points. It looked like maybe they came up a bit edgy and we had a few good rallies, and if we had taken a few of those points, all of a sudden we’re going into the turn 11-5 or 11-6 instead of 11-10, which is a big difference.”

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