Apriyani Rahayu stormed into the final of her maiden HSBC BWF World Tour event with new partner Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti at the DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2022.
Taking 74 minutes to complete the task, the pair conquered the feisty Tan Pearly/Thinaah Muralitharan 21-23 21-14 21-14.
Rahayu said: “In the first game, we felt pressure but kept up our communication on court, and with our coach too. He kept telling us there was no need to feel pressure, reminding us who we were. Then we could play freely to win.”
Ramadhanti added how much Rahayu, whose previous partner Greysia Polii retired recently, had helped their on-court chemistry pre-match.
“Apriyani spoke to me a lot about how to relax so I can play more openly.”
In an almost rematch of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games final, Apriyani and her new partner will meet Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan next.
“This does feel new although I’ve played the Chinese pair. We will need to adapt our style,” said Rahayu.
In a big surprise, the much-loved top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo were later ousted by qualfiers Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang 21-17 21-10 in their own backyard in 33 minutes.
“We really enjoyed that,” beamed Wang.
“We held our defence as long as possible. We got into the rhythm and feel of the match and could control the rallies,” added Liang when asked about their plan to defeat the world No.1s.
The duo face stiff opposition from home favourites Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto in the final.
Ratchanok Intanon is into her third Indonesia Masters final after besting Han Yue 13-21 21-14 21-18 in 67 minutes. The two-time winner is aiming for another crown having won in 2010 and 2020.
“I always get good results here,” smiled Intanon post-match. “In my necklace I keep the bones of my mother (who died last year) and while I don’t believe it always brings me luck, even if it’s 0.01 per cent – I will wear it for my mother. I need to work on my weaknesses for the next round and try to enjoy the final.”
♦ Fearless French duo Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue continued their winning streak, ousting Thai hopefuls Supak Jomkoh/Supissara Paewsampran 22-20 21-12 to land a spot in their first Super 500 final.
♦ Viktor Axelsen denied Anthony Sinisuka Ginting a shot at a third Indonesia Masters title as he defeated the local hero 21-15 21-15. The Olympic champion next faces Chou Tien Chen in what will be their 17th encounter.