Badminton: Men’s Doubles Pairs Keep Up Strong Showing in Singapore
Despite a few scary moments, an all-Indonesia men’s doubles final is still on the cards at the Singapore Open Super Series.
Third-seeded Mohammad Ahsan and Bona Septano almost let a quarterfinal victory slip away on Friday, but they rallied to beat No. 8 seeds Noriyasu Hirata and Hirokatsu Hashimoto of Japan 21-17, 12-21, 22-20 and advance to Saturday’s semifinals.
“Me and Ahsan were always behind our opponents in the third set, but we played more calmly and stubbornly,” Bona said.
In the other half of the men’s doubles draw, Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan overcame unseeded Malaysians Goh V. Shem and Lim Khim Wah 21-18, 21-17.
In Saturday’s semifinals, Bona and Ahsan face second-seeded South Koreans Ko Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seong while Markis and Hendra take on Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan.
“We will repeat our plan [on Saturday] with net drives and taking the initiative on offense. We can’t play defensively because they attack with extremely powerful smashes,” Bona said of his Korean opponents.
“Hopefully, there will be an all-Indonesia final.”
Endo and Hayakawa beat Danish pair Christian John Skovgaard and Mads Pieler Kolding 20-22, 21-12 , 21-9, while Ko and Yoo defeated Hong Wei and Shen Ye of China 21-17, 21-12.
Men’s doubles is Indonesia’s biggest hope for successive Super Series titles following Simon Santoso taking the men’s singles crown at last week’s Indonesia Open.
Despite the Singapore Open field being wide open amid the absence of many top shuttlers resting up for next month’s London Olympics, Indonesia faces the prospect of another barren Super Series. The only other Indonesian entry left in the tournament is in women’s doubles, where No. 8 seeds Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii reached the last four by beating compatriots Anneke Feinya Agustin and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari 21-10, 21-12.
They next face No. 6 seeds Cheng Wen-hsing and Chien Yu-chin of Taiwan, who beat third-seeded Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito of Japan 21-18, 21-15.
Sony Dwi Kuncoro’s recent resurgence hit a speed bump in the men’s singles quarterfinals. After coming through qualifying and knocking off No. 5 seed Du Pengyu of China in the first round, Sony fell 21-17, 26-24 to Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the quarterfinals.
Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka also fell short of a semifinal berth, losing 21-23, 21-7, 21-18 to Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana.
Mixed doubles also saw a pair of Indonesians fall by the wayside, both to Japanese pairs. Fran Kurniawan and Shendy Puspa Irawati pushed seventh-seeded Shoji Sato and Matsuo to three sets before losing 19-21, 21-14, 21-19, while Hendra and Vita Marissa fell 21-17, 22-20 to No. 4 seeds Shintaro Ikeda and Reiko Shiota.