Indonesia to face Japan in semi-finals of Sudirman Cup

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Nanning (China), May 24 (IANS) Indonesia defeated Chinese Taipei 3-2 by winning all three doubles matches, making it to the semi-finals of the Sudirman Cup here on Friday.

Indonesia, who won the Cup only once when it hosted the initial tournament in 1989, sealed the victory in the mixed doubles when eighth-ranked Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti edged past Hsieh Pei Shan and Wang Chi Lin 21-17, 21-15, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I felt a little bit nervous before the match, but when it started, I just focused on the court and forgot that it was the deciding match,” Oktavianti said, adding that compared to their performance in the group match with England, they are playing better.

With the win, Indonesia will play Saturday’s semi-final against Japan who beat Malaysia 3-0 earlier.

Indonesia won the opening men’s doubles when world number one Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo dominated world number 27 Lee Yang and Wang Chi Lin 21-17, 21-17 in 44 minutes.

“Today we played good and I think we are happy with our performance,” Gideon said, adding that they have the target for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, but they have to focus on the Olympic qualifying tournaments right now and play to their best every time.

Chinese Taipei wiped out the deficit in the women’s singles as top-ranked Tai Tzu Ying brushed aside world number 16 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung 21-16, 21-14 in 32 minutes, and even overtook the lead in the men’s singles where 4th-ranked Chou Tien Chen expectedly whitewashed 8th-ranked Jonatan Christie 21-11, 21-13 in 36 minutes.

“Although we lost the previous match I didn’t feel much pressure, I just did my best to win the match for my team,” said world number one Tai.

Indonesia then pulled it back in the women’s doubles as world number 5 Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu won 21-13, 21-7 against Pai Yu Po and Wu Ti Jung in 35 minutes.

–IANS

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