Maria Kristin Yulianti continued her improved form to lead the Indonesian women's team to the semifinals of the Uber Cup with a 3-0 win over Hong Kong on Wednesday.
The badminton tournament is taking place at Bung Karno Sports Hall in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
Maria, the world No. 25, playing in spite of pain in her knee and thigh, struggled to beat Yip Pui Yin 21-19, 21-19 in the first game of the match.
Vita Marissa and Lilyana Natsir then doubled Indonesia's lead with a 21-14, 21-4 win over Koon Wai Chee and Chau Hoi Wah in only 20 minutes.
Adriyanti Firdasari closed out the match by easily defeating Mong Kwan Yi 21-7, 21-9.
The home team showed marked improvement in the match, with 23-year-old Maria providing a gutsy performance as she went through her game with her knee wrapped.
"Yip's strategy was to draw me out with long rallies, but after I managed to make good returns she made many unforced errors," Maria said.
"I'm glad I won in two sets because the pain in my right knee started getting worse in the second set. When I was playing, I tried to ignore the pain," she said.
Maria said the strain of playing on three consecutive days was taking its toll.
This was her second encounter with Yip, having lost to the world No. 12 in October in the Denmark Super Series tournament.
Teammate Vita said she had yet to show her best and promised to give her utmost performance in the next match.
"I did not expect us to go through as smoothly as we did," she said.
"I think we are lucky Hong Kong's top player Wang Chen did not compete in the tournament. That left Yip Pui Yin as the only strong player on the team," she said.
World No. 5 Wang Chen and No. 9 Zhou Mi did not take part because they are preparing for the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing.
Indonesia team manager Susi Susanti said Maria's opening win provided a morale booster for her teammates.
"It's great. I am proud of my players. They proved they can do it," said the 1992 Olympic gold medalist and four-time All England winner.
Indonesia will face Germany, a surprise 3-0 winner over Denmark, in the semifinal.
Although Denmark might have proved a tougher opponent because of its strong players, Susi cautioned against being too cocky.
"We have to use this momentum well because the chance of going to the semifinals may not come twice. As for Germany, we have to be alert, especially with their first singles player, Xu Huaiwen, although I believe Maria can beat her," Susi said.
Xu, the world No. 8, said she was ready to meet the challenge.
"I will prepare well for the match against Indonesia. Although Maria is a tough player, I am optimistic I can defeat her since I've done it before," said Xu, who also plays doubles.
Germany team manager Martin Kranitz said he did not set a target for his Uber Cup team except that they give a maximal performance in every match.
"We got a good draw and we were lucky to outlast Denmark today. Our chance was actually 50-50 since we have equal strength with them," he said. The other semifinal on Thursday will see China, which beat the Netherlands ..., play either Malaysia or South Korea. (TO BE UPDATED LATER) (ind)