The Thais had won just two games out of their 13 previous matches, but today they stood up to the formidable Chinese duo, who on Sunday had won the Indonesia Masters. Quite impressively, Kititharakul and Prajongjai nailed their semifinal spot today at the EAST VENTURES Indonesia Open 2022 with a straight-games win, 21-19 21-15.
The Thais overcame deficits in both games. After a narrow opening game win, they were 12-15 down in the second but ran away with nine straight points.
“I felt I had to beat them one time in my life!” said Kititharakul. “Sometimes our matches have been very close, but we could not control ourselves mentally when the game got close. But today when the game got close we tried to calm down and not rush.
“We had to learn from our past defeats. We did our homework. Our attitude was very good today.
“We have to thank our coach (Saralee Thungthongkam) who directed us on how to play. Her instructions were very good. Chen and Jia have a big smash and power and we aren’t like that so we had to play tactics, mix power and softer shots.”
“The difference was our mind,” said her partner Prajongjai. “We weren’t rushed and we could control everything in the game.”
The Chinese gave credit to the Thais.
“Our opponents were very strong today. We felt the shuttle was slow and it was hard to attack them and we couldn’t get our tempo right,” said Jia Yi Fan. “Our physical condition wasn’t good as we played last week (Indonesia Masters), but our opponents also played very well.”