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Jakarta Post

Two all-Indonesian semifinal matches at Indonesia Open

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, July 7, 2018   /   10:35 am
Two all-Indonesian semifinal matches at Indonesia Open Indonesian Liliyana Natsir (left) greets the press as her partner Tontowi Ahmad (right) looks away after securing their 2018 Indonesia Open semifinal spot on Friday. (PBSI/PBSI)

The home crowd will be pleased to watch Saturday’s Indonesia Open semifinals that feature two all-Indonesian matches at the Istora Senayan.

Top seeds and defending champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir will entertain their juniors Hafiz Faisal and Gloria Emanuella Widjaja in the mixed doubles.

On paper, it is Tontowi and Liliyana who have the better odds of reaching the finals. Hafiz and Gloria, nevertheless, showed potential, because they managed to defeat their seniors, Ricky Karandasuwandi and Debby Susanto, in Friday’s last-16 round.

“As younger players, I believe we’re better in power. We have to be self-confident despite facing experienced opponents [Tontowi and Liliyana],” Hafiz said in a statement.

This year’s fight for the title is Liliyana’s swansong; she will bid farewell to the Indonesia Open.

In the finals, the victorious Indonesian mixed duo will face either fourth seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong of China or Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia.

In the second match in the men’s doubles category, top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo will play against Fajar Alfian and M. Rian Ardianto.

Marcus and Kevin earned the semifinal spot after winning a last-16 match against Mads Conrad-Pietersen and Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark. Meanwhile, Fajar and Rian stunned world champions and third seeds Liu Cheng and Zang Nan of China in Friday’s battle.

On the match fixture, Fajar said: “Kevin and Marcus have great speed and power. It will be a good opportunity for us to face them at home. Any pair that’s ready will win the battle.”