Jakarta and Central Java share victories
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Jakarta men and women tennis players successfully made it to the finals at the National Games (PON 2012) on Friday, but only the women delivered the gold medal after defeating Yogyakarta.
The top seeded men beat East Kalimantan in the semifinals before losing to Central Java in the final match. Central Java secured its final berth after defeating second seeded Riau in the semifinals.
Riau and East Kalimantan would have to settle with bronze medals.
In the women’s competition, the bronze medal went to East Kalimantan and Central Java.
In the men’s team final, the match between Indra Wijaya of Jakarta and Wisnu Adi Nugroho of Central Java came very close. Indra won the first set 6-2 before Wisnu took the second set with the same score.
In the deciding set, Indra seemed to lose concentration, allowing his opponent to rally and go on to win 6-0. Jakarta lost 0-2 after Ekky Hamzah managed to win one set in his 6-1, 6-0 drubbing by Risky Bagus Saputra.
Central Java coach Suharyadi hailed his players’ achievement as amazing. “We are only seeded third, but we can become champions. Although Wisnu and Risky are on the Davis Cup team, the Jakarta and Riau players are rated higher than them,” he told The Jakarta Post after the match.
“I refused to burden ourselves with the expectation to win gold because of the strong competition. To win over Riau already gave us complacency,” he said.
He said the key to the victory was the players’ confidence and stamina that enabled them to keep composure while under pressure.
“Those who are prepared for the match will definitely win. Jakarta players dropped in performance,” said the former national tennis player, who is also husband of former national tennis queen Yayuk Basuki.
Jakarta coach Deddy Prasetyo looked disappointed at the results, blaming the players for employing the wrong tactics in the match.
“He looked rushed, resulting in him stumbling and experiencing an erratic match,” he said about Indra. “As a result, he lost confidence.”
“Ekky had a bad match. He looked nervous and powerless against his opponents,” he said.
The Jakarta team made amends for its men’s loss by winning the women’s finals.
Athena Nathalia began the team’s victorious campaign with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Rekyan Woro. Vonny Darlina sealed the victory after she beat Hanifah Nurhasanah 6-0, 6-1. Coach Roy Marison said he was relieved that they reached their target.
“The strategy of stealing a win over weaker opponents worked. I instructed the players to not get carried away by the opponents’ game,” he said.
His Yogyakarta counterpart Abdul Halim admitted that their loss was imminent after the first singles player failed to steal a win.
“Knowing that Rekyan lost, we lost any chance. Even if we had pushed to take the second match, our doubles players would have had no chance,” he said.
The tennis competition will run until Sept. 19 with another five gold medals to be awarded.