India’s HS Prannoy prevented an Indonesian sweep at the Yonex-Sunrise Indonesian Masters 2014 by winning the Men’s Singles title yesterday.
The 22-year-old Indian’s win at the Grand Prix Gold event over local hope Firman Abdul Kholik marked his career’s first international title. The other four finals were all-Indonesian affairs. Adriyanti Firdasari (below) claimed the Women’s Singles title over Ruselli Hartawan, while in the paired events, Markis Kido/Gideon Markus Fernaldi (Men’s Doubles), Shendy Puspa Irawati/Vita Marissa (Women’s Doubles) and Riky Widianto/Puspita Richi Dili (Mixed Doubles) emerged champions.
Prannoy (featured image; right), silver medallist at the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, has enjoyed a spell of good form over the last fortnight. He was runner-up the previous week to Indonesia’s Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka at the Yonex-Sunrise Vietnam GP Open in three close games. Rumbaka was top seed at his home GPG event, but crashed out in the third round to Malaysia’s Daren Liew.
Prannoy, the No.5 seed, had a tough path to the final. He survived hour-long matches in the second and third rounds and the semi-final (over Liew) and had to fight off an inspired challenge in the second game from surprise finalist Firman Abdul Kholik in the title round.
Kholik was in fact the revelation of the event. Just 16 years old, the qualifier, who has participated in only three junior international events over the last two years, stunned several players ranked above him. Among his victims were compatriot Andre Kurniawan Tedjono in the third round and No.11 seed Zulfadli Zulkiffli (Malaysia) in the semi-final. Down four match points in the final, Kholik caught up with Prannoy at 20-all in the second game, but the Indian’s greater experience helped him quell the Indonesian’s challenge, 21-11 22-20.
In contrast, No.3 seed Adriyanti Firdasari captured the Women’s Singles title without the loss of a game all tournament. Firdasari spent an average of just 34.4 minutes in each of her five matches. Youngster Ruselli Hartawan, who upset No.2 seed Maria Febe Kusumastuti in the semi-final, was unable to stretch Firdasari in the final as she went down 21-14 21-14 in 33 minutes.
Men’s Doubles was the only final that went to three games. Top seeds Kido/Fernaldi (above) had two match points in the second game over Selvanus Geh/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, but the No.5 seeds picked four points in a row to force the decider. This was the first game Kido/Fernaldi had lost in the tournament. However, the top seeds accelerated to a lead in the third game and never looked in danger of conceding it, capturing the title with a 21-17 20-22 21-14 result.
Riky Widianto/Puspita Richi Dili (above) too justified their top seeding by edging past experienced duo Muhammad Rijal/Vita Marissa (2) 21-18 21-19 in the Mixed Doubles final. The titlists nearly stumbled in the quarter-finals, as they had to recover from match point down against compatriots Fran Kurniawan/Shendy Puspa Irawati.
Irawati and Vita Marissa (below) made up for their disappointment with the Women’s Doubles title. The No.3 seeds – who stopped top seeds Jongkonphan Kittiharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai (Thailand) in the semi-final – faced a stiff contest in the opening game of their final against Keshya Nurvita Hanadia/Devi Tika Permatasari. Irawati and Marissa fought back from a deficit of 16-19 and game point down to take the lead. With the opening game in the bag, the third seeds cruised to victory, 23-21 21-13.