Friday, September 21, 2018 11:00:20 AM
China's all-round strength proved too hard for Indonesia to crack as the home favourites breezed into the Vivo BWF Sudirman Cup World Team Championship final on Saturday. The defending champions stayed on course for a 10th Sudirman Cup title with the 3-1 semi-final win in Dongguan. They will now meet either South Korea or Japan in the final today.
Indonesia raised early hopes of an upset by winning the Men's doubles in quick time but the rest of the challenge failed to measure up. It was the brilliance of Hendra Setiawan that helped Indonesia draw first blood.
The opening encounter saw Indonesian pair Mohammad Ahsan/Setiawan bearing four-time World champions Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng in straight games.
Only briefly in the first game did the Chinese make a match of it. They stayed close until 15-all, but four straight errors left them adrift. They fared worse in the second game. The Indonesians were able to keep the rallies short, relying on deft dabs and flicks, preventing Cai and Fu from working their way back into rhythm. The Chinese challenge crumbled as the match progressed, with Fu in particular committing a flurry of mistakes.
Fu blamed the defeat on the inability to find momentum. "We lost a series of points towards the end of the first game and that affected us. We were passive throughout the match. We could gain only 10 percent of the attack; we were under attack the rest of the time."
Ahsan stated that they had decided to take the initiative from the start, but not to rush any point. Indonesia's lead did not last beyond a few minutes. Bellaetrix Manuputty scored a winner for 5-2 and immediately fell to the floor, clutching her knee. She lasted one more point before retiring with injury.
With teenager Jonatan Christie taking on World champion Chen Long in the Men's Singles, Indonesia's chances did not appear too bright. Christie sparkled in patches, but faced with the speedy and powerful Chen, he was unable to maintain his intensity for extended periods. Wild smashes undid his cause, and Chen never lost control during his 21-10 21-15 victory.