Photo credit: Badmintonthaitoday.com

It has been known for a long time. Indonesia Masters would be Liliyana Natsir’s last match on international level. The legend has decided to retire after 24 years of badminton.

Indonesia said goodbye to two of their best players this week. First it was Debby Susanto who said thank you and goodbye to international badminton on Tuesday. She and Ronald Alexander lost in straight games to Germans Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich in first round.

Indonesia Masters finals: A day for the history books!

Debby’s farewell has not caught as much attention as it deserved; it is primarily in Indonesia that the medias have focused on this. Social medias do however confirm that Debby and her glorious career have been celebrated properly.

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For 17 long years, more than half of my entire life has been fiiled with badminton bring name SUSANTO and INDONESIA. In those 17 years of happiness, joy, blood, sweat and tears, my main focus is badminton, not family or friends but badminton only. But like everything in this world, all things will come to an end, even my badminton career. And now the time comes when i must let go of these racket that i’ve held so tight, these rakcet that has delivered me to where i am now. Now is the time for my next adventure, my next priority…family. I thank you all sincerely for my fans, family, and my husband and my club that have been supporting and rooting for me tirelessly, and all of my coaches especially kak richard that’ve helped me a whole lot to reach where i am now. Thanks and byebye😘😘 📸 by : Badmintonphoto ☆ selama 17 tahun lebih dari setengah usia saya,saya habiskan dan isi dengan bulutangkis dengan membawa nama susanto dan indonesia.. dalam perjalanan selama 17 tahun banyak suka duka perjuangan keringat dan air mata.. saat itu saya hanya berfokus pada bulutangkis bahkan mengesampingkan keluarga dan teman teman saya. Tapi semua hal di dunia ini semua ada waktunya termasuk waktu saya untuk berkarir di bulutangkis. Dan sekarang saat nya saya melepaskan genggaman raket yang selalu saya pegang dengan erat, melepaskan pegangan raket yang telah membawa saya pada titik saya saat ini.. sekarang saat nya untuk pertualangan dan prioritas baru dalam hidup saya yaitu keluarga. Saya mengucapkan terimakasih yang sebesar besarnya untuk semua yg mendukung saya juga keluarga serta suami saya dan juga klub saya yang telah mensupport karir saya dari kecil.. dan untuk semua pelatih saya di ganda campuran terutama kepada kak richrad mainaky yang telah percaya yakin dan membantu saya mencapai semua hingga saya ada di titik ini sekarang. Terimakasih dan sampai jumpa 😘😘

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The main focus this week has been on another Indonesian player who we can say, without being disrespectful to Debby Susanto, is a bigger name in badminton. She played longer time, she won more big titles, she simply left a bigger footprint in the world of badminton.

“Owi Butet”

Every time Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad went on court this week, everybody knew it could be the last last for Liliyana. She made it public in autumn 2018 that she would retire now and it was decided to make Indonesia Masters they very last tournament for her.

Read our detailed portrait of Liliyana Natsir here

Needless to say this was also the best place to say goodbye: On home ground in front of the fanatic Indonesian badminton spectators, and then of course inside the legendary Istora Senayan arena. And to top things up, “of course” Liliyana and Tontowi reached the final. Things could hardly be any better for this goodbye.

To the unstoppable cheer from the thousands of local spectators who rhythmically shouted “Owi Butet” during the whole match, the Indonesian duo got the best start against the world number one, Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong. Owi and Butet are the nicknames for Tontowi and Liliyana. And they bagged first game 21-19, which basically broke the sound wall inside the arena.

Finishes as runner-up

Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong are not just anyone. The two Chinese are solidly ranked number one in the world and they won no less than nine tournaments in 2018. Against Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir they also had a positive statistic of 3-1 before today’s final.

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As you all know, this year’s DIM is very competitive! Keep up with the latest results through Daihatsu’s website here https://daihatsu-badminton.com or https://www.facebook.com/196043767564139/posts/314042825764232/ Also, check out the songs I listen to while training to keep me energized on court here: https://spoti.fi/2CVs2Hz Seperti kita ketahui, tahun ini DIM sangat kompetitif! Tetap kunjungi website Daihatsu untuk hasil terbaru di sini https://daihatsu-badminton.com atau ke facebook / https://www.facebook.com/196043767564139/posts/314042825764232/ Juga, yuk lihat daftar lagu yang saya dengar saat latihan atau jelang bertanding lewat spotify kalian : https://spoti.fi/2CVs2Hz #DaihatsuBadminton #DaihatsuIndonesiaMasters2019 #DIM2019

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And the strong Chinese duo stroke back in second game, which they won win the same score as they lost first; 21-19. It was just about not to happen though. The Indonesians were just three points from winning the match as they were leading 18-14 towards the end of second game. Too many errors invited Zheng and Huang back into the match though.

Postponing the stop: One more for Liliyana!

During the decisive game – and the ultimately last game of Liliyana Natsir’s impressive badminton career – the two Indonesians couldn’t keep up with former times’ top level. They were lacking behind the Chinese during the whole game and despite the massive support from the local spectators, it was Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong who ran off with the victory (21-16).

That means that legendary Liliyana Natsir finishes as runner-up in the last tournament of her career. But she will always be a winner in our hearts!

Results from all the finals at Indonesia Masters 2019:

WD: Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi, JPN (2) vs. Kim So Yeong/Kong Hee Yong, KOR 21-19 21-15
MS: Anders Antonsen, DEN vs. Kento Momota, JPN (1) 21-16 14-21 21-16
MD: Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, INA (1) vs. Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan, INA (8) 21-17 21-11
WS: Saina Nehwal, IND (8) vs. Carolina Marín, SPA (5) 4-10 retired
XD: Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, CHN (1) vs. Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir, INA (4) 19-21 21-19 21-16

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