Famous for the bicep-flexing of the winners – Carnando and Astrup usually the lead actors – and on-court gamesmanship when facing each other, the pairs have fought eight times, with just three of those battles ending in straight games.
Astrup/Rasmussen lead the head-to-head 5-3 and have won three of their last four meetings – most recently in the Malaysia Open first round two weeks ago. More tellingly for the home pair, the Danes also aced their only clash at the Istora Senayan, in 2022 at the Indonesia Open.
“We see this as a small chance to avenge those losses,” admitted Marthin after the 19-21 21-14 21-17 semifinal victory over third-seeded compatriots Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto. “We want to make use of it, so we need to prepare well and be ready to show our best.”
Since the Indonesia Masters came into being in 2010, only twice have local pairs not taken the men’s doubles title – in 2012 and 2021. Marthin is aware the expectation from the stands would be to keep the tradition going.
“We know the fans at Istora would be desperate for the title,” said the 22-year-old. “We will give our maximum. We don’t want to lose but we will make sure not to get ahead of ourselves. We must be cool under pressure.”
Meanwhile, Carnando paid tribute to the fans for inspiring another run to the final. A successful title defence would see Marthin/Carnando become the first back-to-back champions in the category since Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in 2020.
“We have the best fans, it’s hard to find this type of support and atmosphere elsewhere,” said Carnando. “It’s extraordinary. It can only spur us on, not weigh us down.
“We are grateful for their support. They have invested their time and hard-earned money to come and watch us, so we want to give them something to celebrate.”
Astrup and Rasmussen, who saw off Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi 21-14 21-19, are equally excited to appear in a maiden career final at the world-famous venue.
“Indonesian fans are so involved in every rally. Even though it’s against us, we will use it as motivation because it’s just amazing to play in front of a packed Istora Senayan. We can’t wait to go on court,” said Astrup.
Rasmussen agreed: “We’ve been dreaming of performing in one of the best arenas in the world.”