Wang Yihan gave herself another shot at winning a World Superseries title that has evaded her for two years.
The Chinese fourth seed, whose last Superseries win was at the OUE Singapore Open 2014, displayed her typical doggedness in wearing down World champion Carolina Marin in the Women’s Singles semi-final of the BCA Indonesia Open today. Wang will battle Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying for the crown on Sunday.
China are in contention for four of the five titles, with only the Men’s Singles eluding them.
Marin dominated the semi-final early, but Wang lifted herself as the game progressed, chasing down everything that was sent her way, and frustrating her rival with her retrieving ability and intensity for long spells. Marin’s challenge was eventually prised open: 16-21 21-11 21-17.
The Spaniard conceded that her nervousness had probably done her in.
“I’m disappointed with my match because of how I played from the second and third games. I started well, was very focussed, but in the second I was nervous and I couldn’t do my best,” said Marin.
Tai Tzu Ying was her tricky best against China’s Wang Shixian, drawing appreciative sighs from the crowd with her silken skills as she dispatched her opponent 21-9 21-15.
Jan O Jorgensen’s love affair with the Indonesia Open yielded his third straight final.
Jorgensen was taken to the limit by China’s Tian Houwei in their Men’s Singles final; the Dane just about managed to outwit his opponent at the very end, booking a title clash with Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, who is seeking his sixth Indonesia Open crown.
Jorgensen’s semi-final against Tian was a test of physical and mental endurance, for both had played hour-long quarter-finals and the effect showed. A number of long rallies unfolded in the third game; Tian kept himself in the hunt after a 46-shot rally to get to 17-18. With the match headed to a climactic finish, Jorgensen gained the edge with an flicked return off Tian’s serve, and then quickly closed out the last two points for the 21-14 18-21 21-17 win.
“It was a very tough game. Actually, when I came to the game I was already tired after the long match yesterday, I had used a lot of energy to win. It was incredibly tough, Tian Houwei made me work very hard for it.
“Two years ago I was the first non-Asian to win the Indonesia Open; that was a special moment, one of the highlights of my career along with winning the Thomas Cup. I know I was accused of being provocative yesterday. Actually, I think the game was very good — if you want to see a mental game between top players, there’s so much going on. A lot of the game is mental because there’s very little difference between top players. I managed to stay calm and make the right decisions.”
Lee breezed past his young Indonesian opponent Ihsan Maulana Mustofa in the first game, but Mustofa settled down to give his opponent something to think about in the second. The match crackled to life as the young Indonesian paid the Malaysian in his own coin – ratcheting up his pace and firing smash winners. Lee made a few errors of judgement on the tosses, and suddenly he trailed by a bit.
It took sheer brilliance for him to draw level; despite being caught by some silky net shots from Mustofa, Lee kept the rally going until Mustofa smashed into the net. From there the Malaysian shot ahead: 21-9 21-18.
“I’m more experienced than him, I know how to handle these situations. I just played from point to point,” Lee said. “Ihsan is a young talented player and a top-10 prospect.”
Zhang/Zhao Fall to Ko/Kim
Top seeds Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei (China) fell to their fourth defeat in 11 matches against Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun and Kim Ha Na (featured image).
The Koreans maintained a tight grip over the proceedings, constricting their opponents with a lack of opportunities until the top seeds fell below their usual high level.
Uncharacteristically, the top seeds suffered lax spells, and although they caught up in the second game at 9-all, Zhang was a trifle erratic and the advantage swung Korea’s way: 21-14 21-17.
In the other semi-final, Xu Chen/Ma Jin had it rather easy against compatriots Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong, 21-15 21-18.
Japan-China Women’s Doubles Final
Both Women’s Doubles semi-finals were one-sided affairs. Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi outgunned Dutch pair Selena Piek/Eefje Muskens 21-10 21-18 in 36 minutes, while No.3 seeds Tang Yuanting/Yu Yang took lesser time to power past Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei, 21-15 21-9.
“Yesterday’s long match took its toll,” said Selena Piek. “We got insecure because our lifts weren’t good, our lifts were way too short, and their attacking game was too good. We needed to keep the court big. Our defence wasn’t there today, that was the key point.”
Lee/Yoo Versus Chai/Hong
It was a disappointing day for Denmark in the Men’s Doubles. Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen’s challenge was cut apart by top seeds Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeong Seong; the Koreans needing just 48 minutes for a 21-16 21-14 victory.
Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding were more combative against China’s Chai Biao/Hong Wei, but faded out after 10-all in the second game.