Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Text by Dev Sukumar
Indonesia’s men and women had contrasting results in their final group matches at the Li-Ning BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2014 today.
While Indonesia’s men topped Group A with a 4-1 result over Thailand, the women were unlucky to fall by the same score to Korea in Group X. The other two ties in the morning session were one-sided affairs: Singapore enjoyed 5-0 margins over Australia (Uber Cup Group X) and Nigeria (Thomas Cup Group A).
Korea’s women were favourites against Indonesia, but the challengers gave the higher-seeded Koreans a run for their money. Sung Ji Hyun overcame a testy phase against Lindaweni Fanetri to clinch the opening singles, but Korea ran into trouble in both their doubles. Jang Ye Na/Kim So Young (above) recovered from a game behind to hold off Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/ Greysia Polii, 12-21 21-18 21-18.
After Bae Yeon Ju made it 3-0 for Korea, Jung Kyun Eun/Kim Ha Na ran into the feisty duo Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah/Suci Rizky Andini. Although behind in the rankings by 48 places, the Indonesians threw themselves into the contest with gusto, with Andini in particular firing smash after smash from the back and nearly taking the contest away from the No.8 Koreans.
Korea had four match points, but watched in desperation as Andini and Nuraidah inched to within a point. A misunderstanding between the two saw Jung/Kim clinch the final point for a 20-22 22-20 21-19 victory.
Indonesia’s men suffered an unexpected early setback, with No.5 Tommy Sugiarto falling to Boonsak Ponsana (featured image) for the first time since 2005.
“I made too many mistakes,” said Sugiarto. “Ponsana was slowing down the game and I wasn’t ready for that.”
However, Thailand could not match Indonesia’s depth. World champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan took less than half-an-hour to flatten Wannawat Ampunsuwan/Nipitphon Puangpuapech, 21-15 21-14. The next three matches too went Indonesia’s way, with Simon Santoso wrapping up the tie, 21-13 21-13 over Thammasin Sitthikom.
* Singapore’s women earned a consolation win over Australia to finish third in Group X. Chen Jiayuan swept aside Tara Pilven (above) in the opening match before Yao Lei/Shinta Mulia Sari enjoyed a 21-18 21-12 verdict over Renuga Veeran/Tang He Tian. Liang Xiaoyu put the tie out of Australia’s reach by beating Verdet Kessler 21-10 21-15.
* Singapore’s men too finished third in their group, getting the better of Nigeria without dropping a game. The longest match of the five was the third singles, in which Sean Lee (left) spent 28 minutes outplaying Victor Makanju 21-18 21-12. Sean Lee later combined with Huang Chao to win the fifth point for Singapore, 21-10 21-12 over Jinkan Ifraimu Bulus/Ola Fagbemi.
For today’s results, click here.