Tontowi and Liliyana advance to Indonesia Open semifinals
The Jakarta Post
Hopeful host pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 Indonesia Open badminton tournament after beating Malaysia's Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing 21-18, 21-16 at the Jakarta Convention Center on Friday.
"We are grateful that we're able to reach the semifinals because [the quarter match] wasn't easy for us; we struggled in the first game, but we refused to back down," Liliyana, who won gold medals with Tontowi in the 2016 Olympic Games, said in a statement.
In the semifinals on Saturday, Tontowi and Liliyana will face non-seeded duo Chang Peng Soon and Yen Wei Peck, who beat qualifiers Lu Ching Yao and Chang Kai Hsin of Taiwan in the quarters. The two pairs have never met before.
Tontowi said the pair would not overthink the semifinal match as they were trying to focus on play-by-play. "I hope we can stay calm and focused in the semifinal."
Meanwhile Liliyana, who is dealing with a knee injury, said she would rather not think about the pain ahead of Saturday's battle. "I just want to give my best. We will not give up until the end."
Liliyana is eager to win the Indonesia Open for the first time.
Two other Indonesian pairs also reached the open's semifinals.
Non-seeded pair Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto in men's doubles, who defeated Thailand's Kittinupong Kedren and Dechapol Puavaranukroh, will face second-seeded Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, Anggia Shitta Awanda and Ni Ketut Mahadewi made a surprise in the women's doubles to reach the semis, where they will meet fifth-seeded Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan of China.
Anggia and Ni Ketut beat Thailand's Putita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the quarters, while Chen and Jia defeated second-seeded pair Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark. (nkn)
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