The Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold-medalist Parupalli Kashyap caused a stunning upset at the $800,000 Indonesia Open Super-series Premier by beating world no.1 and top seed Chen Long of China. The Chinese didn’t expect Kashyap’s brilliant turnaround after the Indian lost the first game. But the Indian fought hard in the second game and finished a runaway winner in the third to the amazement of Chen Long and those watching the quarterfinal. For a place in the final, Kashyap will play against Japan’s no.8 seed Kento Momota, who entered the semifinal by beating Indonesian qualifier Ginting Anthony while Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen also reached the semifinal by brushing aside another Indonesian qualifier Jonatan Christie. Jorgensen will next play against Germany’s Marc Zwiebler, who had a hard three-game fight with Japan’s Kenichi Tago. There was, however, bad news for Indian fans as Saina Nehwal succumbed to China’s Wang Shixian yet again after her Star Australian loss to the Chinese last week at Sydney. The women’s semifinal line up now has Chinese Wang Shixian and Wang Shixian, Japanese Yui Hashimoto and Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon.
The BCA Indonesian Open has been a scene of high drama right from the first day with seeded players suffering unforeseen losses. India’s Parupalli Kashyap provided another stunning upset on Friday in his quarterfinal match against world no.1 Chen Long. In the opening game, Kashyap was hardly a match to Long, who not only opened up a 6-2 lead but consistently moved ahead. On two occasions, Kashyap caught up with Chen Long but once the Chinese broke away from 11-11, he reeled off five straight points to lead at 16-11. After that Chen Long allowed only three more points to Kashyap as he took the first game 21-14. Kashyap found his bearings in the second game and went neck-to-neck until 7-7. After that Kashyap kept leading and despite Chen Long trying his best, Kashyap managed to take the match to the decider. The Indian played brilliantly in the third game and shot to a 9-3 lead. Chen Long made it 14-5 but his unforced errors gave Kashyap a decisive edge. It became a literal cake-walk for the Indian in the end as he came through at 14-21, 21-17, 21-14. It was the second time that Kashyap has beaten Chen Long in the Indonesian Open after 2012.
However, Saina Nehwal suffered her second loss to Wang Shixian in one week as she went down 21-16, 12-21, 18-21 in her 69-minute quarterfinal against the Chinese. The Indian began quite well in the first game to lead 11-5 and kept the momentum going. It was a long 30-minute game, in which Saina outplayed Wang in long rallies. But Wang fell back on his experience to turn the tide in the next two games. The Chinese completely ruled in the second game and forced a decider. The third game was a close battle with both players locked at 8-8. After that Saina pulled away to make it 15-10. The Chinese, however, reeled off 5 points at draw level at 15-15, which became 17-17. At this point, Wang dictated terms and didn’t allow Saina to come back in the match. In other results in women’s quarterfinals, Wang Yihan of China beat Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi 14-21, 21-8, 21-9 and Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon crushed local hope Lindaweni Fanetri, 21-7, 21-7.
In other men’s quarterfinal matches, Japan’s Kento Momota was pushed hard by Indonesia’s Ginting Anthony, who took the first game from Momota before the Japanese bounced back to take the next two and finished a 13-21 21-16 21-15 winner. In contrast, Ginting’s team-mate Jonatan Christie was done in 36 minutes by Denmark’s defending champion Jan O Jorgensen, 21-13, 21-15. In the last Men’s Singles quarterfinal, Germany’s Marc Zwiebler outlasted Kenichi Tago of Japan, 21-15, 19-21, 21-17 to set up an all-European semifinal clash against Jorgensen.
In the mixed doubles, the “Big Four” have reached the semifinals. China’s top seeds Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei will play against Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir while defending champions Danes Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen will take on the Chinese Xu Chen/Ma Jin. In the men’s doubles Koreans Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong will take on Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Choel while Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan will play against China’s Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan. Incidentally, Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan were given a joyful walkover by Denmark’s Carsten Mogensen/Mathias Boe because Mogensen hurried home for the birth of his baby son. In women’s doubles, Indonesia’s Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii will take on China’s Yu Yang/Zhong Qianxin while in the other all-Chinese semi-final, Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting will face Tang Jinhua/Tian Qing.
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