French Open: Wardoyo Puts on a Show

Anders Antonsen’s unbeaten streak this year ended with Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo’s copybook display of finesse and control.

During his 16-match unbeaten streak Antonsen picked up the Malaysia Open and the Indonesia Open, besides leading Denmark to team gold at the continental team championships. But Wardoyo’s calm shot-making, couched in languid grace particularly on the backhand, left Antonsen uncertain. The Indonesian eased through in the end, 21-15 21-8.

“All credit to Chico, he played a phenomenal game,” said Antonsen. “I was struggling to find the baseline in the first game, and it seemed like it was no problem for him at all, and he was finding the lines on his attack as well. So credit to him.

Antonsen suffers his first defeat of the season.

“He has good technique and he has good variations, he was using them at the right time. Making no mistakes, both tactically and in the rallies, so overall super good performance from him.

“Obviously I’m disappointed right now, but I tell myself before every match, every match at this level is a 50-50 match. There are no players in the men’s singles draw that do not have the level to beat everyone when they reach the highest level. Chico did that today and he’s definitely capable of beating anyone.”

The winner was happy to be playing at his best after a prolonged spell of poor form following a back injury last year.

“I just gave my best. I’d lost to him at the Indonesia Masters, so I’m happy that I could beat him. Fitness-wise I’m back to my best. I was able to control the shuttle well and played well at the net.”

Wardoyo takes on Shi Yu Qi, while the other semifinal will see Kunlavut Vitidsarn against Lakshya Sen.

Sen won his third three-game match on the trot, beating Loh Kean Yew in a high-intensity battle, 19-21 21-15 21-13.

“My defensive game has been getting better and better as I go further in the tournament,” said Sen. “Li Shi Feng and Loh are the hardest-hitting players. The conditions also make it easier to defend; the hall is big and the shuttle moves slow, so once you get a good length it’s hard to put the shuttle down.”


Lee Jhe-Huei/Yang Po-Hsuan’s giant-killing run continued with a straight-games takedown of Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto, 22-20 21-19. The Chinese Taipei pair are in their first Super 750 semifinal as a pair – Lee was in the French Open semifinals six years ago with then-partner Lee Yang.

Both women’s doubles semifinals will feature China versus Japan. Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan take on Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara, while Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning face Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida.


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