Photo credit: Tang Shi
After a rough start with two Indonesian losses in today’s matches, the local spectators did indeed get something to celebrate later. All remaining five matches with Indonesian players were won, including one men’s single against the World Champion.
Anthony Sinisuka Ginting probably delivered the biggest surprise of the day as he defeated World Champion Kento Momota from Japan in straight games to qualify for the quarterfinal at the Asian Games. Compatriot Jonatan Christie eliminated the runner-up from the World Championships, Shi Yuqi, yesterday so the Indonesian men’s singles are enjoying quite some success on home ground these days.
Momota has had an extreme year so far where he nearly won everything he participated in. But today the 21-year old Indonesian proved stronger in a match that indeed deserves being called match of the day today. However, in the beginning of the match it was the Japanese who was in control. Still the first game went to Ginting who won 21-18.
In second game Momota was leading 11-6 at interval but Ginting stuck to his strategy and slowly caught up with the World Champion. At 18-17 the Indonesian lead for the first time and from here he settled things straight. With another 21-18 for Ginting the Istora Senayan arena exploded in loud noise as the thousands of local spectators were cheering for their local hero.
This is indeed a big result for Anthony Sinisuka Ginting who suffered from severe cramps just few days ago in the team event final against China. In tomorrow’s quarterfinal he now has the pleasure of another big name; reigning Olympic Champion Chen Long from China.
More Indonesian power
Indonesia’s other men’s single, Jonatan Christie, did as mentioned deliver another great result yesterday when he defeated China’s Shi Yuqi. Today he had to continue his successful journey at the Asian Games against Khosit Phetpradab from Thailand. The two had a head-to-head statistic of 3-1 in Christie’s favor before the match today.
And in what became the longest match of the day – 90 minutes total – it was the Thai who handled the nerves best in the beginning. Phetpradab won first game 21-17 only to see his opponent strike back in second; Jonatan Christie leveled the match with 21-18. Also here it was the local spectators who could allow themselves another celebration as Christie copied second game in third. With another 21-18 Jonatan Christie had qualified for the quarterfinal where he is going to face Wong Wing Ki Vincent from Hong Kong.
Two times India-Indonesia
In women’s single there was a double up on India vs. Indonesia today. First Saina Nehwal was up against Fitriani Fitriani and later awaited an interesting clash between Pusarla V. Sindhu and Gregoria Mariska Tunjung.
Nehwal really had no problems against her Indonesian opponent today. She and Fitriani have now played each other four times and the Indonesian is still chasing her first win. In only 33 minutes Saina Nehwal had eliminated Fitriani 21-6 21-14 but there was still hope for Indonesia in the second women’s single.
Gregoria Mariska Tunjung who will surely have a big future in badminton has been outstanding at the Asian Games so far. Adding Sindhu’s shaking result from yesterday to this, many fans thought that today could be the day where Tunjung would get her first victory against the tall Indian. As late as in July this year the two had been playing three games at the semifinal of Thailand Open.
But no, today was not going to be the day. Once again Pusarla V. Sindhu was too strong for the 19-year old Indonesia. Once again India eliminated Indonesia in women’s single. With a score of 21-12 21-15 Sindhu proved that there is still a level or two between her and Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, but the young Indonesia can still be proud as this is the only match she lost at the Asian Games, the team event included.