Indonesia Open: Persistence Cracks the Yamaguchi Code

After banging on the door in their last few encounters, a patient Pornpawee Chochuwong finally got the better of Akane Yamaguchi today, defeating her 21-6 21-23 21-11 in the Indonesia Open 2021 quarterfinals.

The Thai shuttler has not beaten Yamagachi since her victory at the Total BWF Sudirman Cup in 2019 but the All England runner-up got her wish at the Bali International Convention Centre, pushing for every point, testing her own physical limits after a stretch of tough matches.

“Today I felt good,” said a relieved Chochuwong. “I kept on fighting for each shot, I was trying not to worry too much because each shot I played, she was getting them back. It feels good to defeat Akane because she’s such a fast player, everyone wants to play her. She was leading at one point but I kept pushing back.”

And persistence was the key to breaking down Yamaguchi’s game plan. The Japanese has been on incredible form, scooping recent titles at the YONEX French Open 2021 and the VICTOR Denmark Open 2021, plus making the final at last week’s DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2021.

“She was playing against my game plan. The key was to be patient,” said Chochuwong.

In a breezy first game, Chochuwong was the one in the driving seat with an accomplished 21-6 score all too apparent.

“My style is to push the shuttles into the four corners of the court, I was making her work for it. I had to keep up my game plan throughout. I had to keep pushing for her to play into my plan.”

An edgy second game was about to ensue for the 23-year-old when she was just outplayed by Yamaguchi. Chochuwong dug deep to pull it out of the bag in the decider.

“I felt confident about my performance. I didn’t give up.”

The world No.10 will face last week’s champion An Seyoung, whom she has not won against in two encounters, in the semifinals tomorrow.

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