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Taufik, a class apart

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 29 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 852

Hyderabad: For the first four days of the Indian Open here, Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia was looked upon by the badminton fans as more a of temperamental player who complained against everything he came across.

On Saturday, one finally realised why Hidayat is still regarded as one of the finest players of the game. Playing against compatriot Tommy Sugiarto in the men’s singles semi-finals, Hidayat unleashed a series of stunning backhand smashes and drop shots that had the spectators on their feet.

Hidayat, the former world and Olympic champion, was at his classic best during his 21-13, 21-9 destruction of Sugiarto, son of former world champion Icuk Sugiarto. He was a treat to watch and he left the audience in awe with his smooth footwork and deceptive shots.

No wonder the current world No.1 declared immediately after the match that he was ready to take the title. “I could play all my shots perfectly… I am focussed and confident of winning the final,” Hidayat said.

“If I win the title, I will be in my top form,” was how the Indonesian assessed the situation. Asked if he could be described as the John McEnroe of badminton, the Indonesian shot back saying: “He was a tennis player and I play badminton.”

To his opponent, Hidayat can be extremely deceptive. He looks relaxed on court and suddenly starts moving sharply. He also keeps the umpire on his toes with regular complaints.

Hidayat says he would definitely hit back were someone to trouble him.

“I think it is the normal tendency of a human being. I am the same Taufik Hidayat both on and off court. You can take a closer look at me and make your own judgement,” he said.

 
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Hidayat, Hashim reach India Open badminton final

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 29 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 706
Second-seeded Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia will take on Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia in the men's final of the India Open badminton tournament.

Hidayat, a former world and Olympic champion, easily beat Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto 21-13, 21-11 in Saturday's semifinals while Hashim overcame 19-year-old Chen Long of China 21-18, 19-21, 21-15.

"I took some time to get adjusted to the conditions here. But now I'm getting into my rhythm and am feeling good about my game," Hidayat said. "I'm familiar with Tommy's game, I was determined to get off to a good start and not give him any chance to attack."

In the women's semifinals, top-seeded Pi Hongyan of France defeated sixth-seeded Yu Hirayama of Japan 21-7, 21-14 to set up a final against Julia Pei Xian Wong of Malaysia, who rallied to beat Zhang Bei Wen of Singapore 19-21, 21-13, 21-15.

Hashim had a tough opponent in Chen, who had knocked out top-ranked Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the first round.

Chen produced a superb rally to win the second game after trailing 16-9. But in the decider, the more experienced Hashim kept the rallies short with crisp smashes and deceptive drops to take a commanding 15-7 lead and never allowed his opponent to stage another comeback.

 
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Hidayat wins to reach India Open semifinals

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 27 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 910
HYDERABAD, India (AP) — Second-seeded Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia rallied to beat Kuan Beng Hong of Malaysia 17-21, 21-17, 21-19 Friday to advance to the semifinals of the India Open badminton tournament.

Hidayat, a former Olympic and world champion, will play Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia, who defeated Tan Chung Seang of Malaysia 13-21, 21-18, 21-9.

Chen Long of China downed eighth-seeded Lee Tsuen Seng of Malaysia 21-15, 21-8 and will play Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia, who edged Andre Kurniawan Tedjono of Indonesia 21-18, 14-21, 21-16.

Chen, a former junior world champion who upset top-ranked Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the first round, is delighted with his form.

"It was a good start for me to start by beating the world No. 1, and now I know everyone is watching my moves," Chen said. "I feel I've got a strong chance of taking this title. I'm focused on my job in the court."

In women's singles, top-seeded Pi Hong Yan of France struggled before clinching a 22-20, 18-21, 21-14 win against Xia Jing Yun of China, who was playing her first Grand Prix Gold event.

Pi's opponent in Saturday's semifinals will be Yu Hirayama of Japan, who beat Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia 21-1, 21-18.

Second-seeded Saina Nehwal of India slumped to a 12-21, 21-13, 21-14 loss to Malaysia's Julia Pei Xian Wong, who now plays Zhang Bei Wen of China after his 22-20, 21-9 win against Lydia Li Ya Cheah of Malaysia.

 


 

 
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Julia Beats Indian Ace For Semi-Final Berth

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 27 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 962
HYDERABAD, March 27 (Bernama) -- In a highly-charged quarter- finals, Malaysian singles sensation Julia Wong Pei Xian created a major upset, nudging out Indian ace Saina Nehwal at the Yonex Sunrise Indian Open at Gachibowli Stadium here today.

Saina, the second-seed, failed to weave her magic, despite thunderous home support and went down fighting in three matches to Julia, her shadow rival in the Indian's badminton career.

Julia rode on Saina's unexpected erratic game and pressured on piling points in the second match and even widened the points 4-0 and 12-5, which the world No 9 found it hard to bridge the gap.

The Malaysian took almost an hour to oust an adamant Saina 12-21, 21-13, 21-18.

"I was a little tensed as she was seeded second. After losing my first match, I opened up my game and Saina started to make many errors. She looked nervous and I continued my game plan," Julia, who had beaten Saina for the second consecutive time out of their five meets, told Bernama.

It was a bonus for the Malaysian women's singles team which had a bad spell today, after hopeful Wong Meh Choo lost to Japanese Yu Hirayama 17-21, 18-21, while her compatriot Lydia Cheah Li Ya suffered a similar fate in the hands of Singapore's Zhang Beiwen 20-22, 21-9.

In the men's singles quarter-finals, Mohd Hafiz Hashim was stretched to three matches by Indonesian Andre Kurniawan Tedjono, before the Malaysian won 21-18, 14-21, 21-16, allowing him a semi-final berth.

But Lee Tsuen Seng's campaign ended in Hyderabad, after losing to rising Chinese star Chen Long 21-15, 21-8.

The second edition of the India Open offers prize money of US$120,000 (RM432,000).
 
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Saina bows out of Indian Open badminton

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 27 March 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 874
Hyderabad, March 27 (IANS) Saina Nehwal’s hopes of a title finish at home were dashed by Malaysian Julia Wong Pei Xian in a thrilling quarterfinal encounter of the Yonex-Sunrise Indian Open badminton here Friday.
Second seed and World No.9 Saina went down 21-12, 13-21, 18-21 in over an hour.

Fifth seed Julia has now beaten the Indian for the second consecutive time in five meetings.

The Indian started on a promising note but went down in a flurry of errors in the second game as Julia picked up her game.

Both players fought fiercely in the third game with the crowd vociferously cheering for Saina. They played some exceptional rallies as Saina, down 0-4 in the game, came back to level. Julia, however, raised her game to break free from 14-14 and romp home.

“I was a little tensed as she (Saina) was seeded second. After losing my first match, I opened up my game and Saina started to make many errors. She looked nervous and I continued my game plan,” Julia said.

The Indian challenge in the singles draw thus ended with Saina’s exit.

The mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Valiyaveetil Diju beat Malaysian Chiou Hwee Haw and Singapore Yujia Li 21-19, 21-16.

 
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