Home2022SURPRISE PAIRS THROUGH TO THE FINAL

SURPRISE PAIRS THROUGH TO THE FINAL

Ranked #424 in men’s doubles Wang Chang/Liang Weikeng from China had to start from the qualifying round in the Daihatsu Indonesia Masters 2022. This year, the Daihatsu Indonesia Masters 2022 is their second tournament. Previously, Wang/Liang performed at the Thailand Open 2022. In that tournament, they also started from the qualifying round but stopped in the round of 16 after being defeated by the Japanese pair Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi in a rubber game.

At the 2022 Indonesia Masters, Wang Chang/Liang Weikeng has been working hard to change the ending of their story into a sweet one by winning each round until finally, they reach the final. The opponent whom they defeated in the semifinals was not a random pair: Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya aka the Minions, the Indonesian pair who are ranked first in the world. But the difference in ranking didn’t seem to make Wang Chang/Liang Weikeng flinch. Wang/Liang was able to win over the Minions in two straight games 21-17, 21-10. In the quarterfinals, Wang Chang/Liang Weikeng defeated Malaysian doubles who are also Tokyo 2020 Olympics bronze medalists, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik.

Unfortunately, the surprise by Wang Chang/Liang Weikeng wasn’t followed by their compatriot He Jiting/Zhou Haodong. The pair ranked 141 in the world who also started in the qualifying round lost to the Indonesian doubles who are seeded in fifth place Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto 17-21, 17-21.

Another Chinese representative entered the final round in the women's singles number. First seed Chen Yu Fei had no trouble defeating compatriot He Bingjiao, who is also seeded sixth, with two straight games 21-17, 21-14. However, the all-China final couldn’t happen since in the other semifinal, Han Yue's move was stopped by Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, the fifth seed, in three tight games 21-13, 14-21, 18-21. Looking at their meeting records, Chen Yu Fei has a bigger chance to win over Ratchanok Intanon as in 16 meetings, Chen was able to win 14 matches. 

There are also hopes for champions from China, in the women's doubles and the mixed doubles. In the women's doubles, top seeds Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yifan advanced to the final after beating South Korea's Jeong Na-eun/Kim Hye-jeong 21-12, 21-13. Even though they are not seeded, the Korean pair once defeated Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yifan in the round of 32 of the All England in March 2022.

In the final round, Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yifan, the silver medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will meet the new Indonesian doubles Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti. Rahayu/Ramadhanti in the semifinals won the rubber game 21-23, 21-14, 21-22 over Malaysian doubles, the sixth seed, Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan. At Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Apriyani Rahayu was able to thwart Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yifan's ambition to win gold. Only, at that time, she was paired with Greysia Polii who is now retired. But in pair with Siti Fadia Ramadhanti, she had never met Chen/Jia.

Meanwhile, in mixed doubles, Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong who is the second seed will face the unseeded French pair Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue. In the semifinals, Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, the silver medalist of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, defeated the fifth seed from Korea Seo Seung-jae/Chae Yoo-jung 19-21, 21-14, 21-12. This victory confirmed the dominance of Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong over their opponent. They always won in seven meetings with Seung-jae/Chae Yoo-jung. Meanwhile, Gicquel/Delrue won straight games 22-20, 21-12 over Supak Jomkoh/Supissara Paewsampran from Thailand. Making a breakthrough in the final seems to be a tough task for Gicquel/ Delrue. In addition to being the Olympic silver medalist, the pair Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong are also two-time world champions, in 2018 and 2019.

Asia's hopes of sweeping five titles at the 2022 Indonesia Masters may not be achieved, especially in the men's singles. The Asian representative who qualified for the final, Chou Tien Chen from Taiwan, will meet the world number one single from Denmark, Viktor Axelsen. Tien Chen qualified for the final after struggling to beat the 2021 World Champion Loh Kean Yew from Singapore with a rubber game 21-16, 8-21, 19-21. This result put Chou, who is now ranked fourth in the world, 3-2 ahead when he met Loh Kean Yew. The meeting records between Chou Tien Chen and Viktor Axelsen aren’t really in Chou’s favor: he won only twice and lost 14 times against Axelsen, who qualified for the final after defeating the vice-host Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-15, 21-15. (*)

 

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