Hendra Setiawan/Tan Boon Heong reach Australian Open final

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Hendra Setiawan/Tan Boon Heong will meet Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda for the first time in Australian Open final. (photo: AP)
Hendra Setiawan/Tan Boon Heong will meet Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda for the first time in Australian Open final. (photo: AP)

Sydney: Forming a trusting and positive doubles partnership required effort and time, and the collaboration of Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia)/ Tan Boon Heong (Malaysia) continued to get stronger as they bounced back from dropping a set to beat Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan of China 21-15, 14-21, 21-17 in the Australian Open semi-finals on Saturday.

This was Setiawan/Tan’s second victory over Liu/Zhang after beating the same Chinese pair in the 2017 China Masters quarter-finals on April 21.

After winning a relatively easy first game, Setiawan/Tan said Liu/Zhang applied some new strategies in the second set.

“With Liu/Zhang changing tactics in the second set, slowing down the pace of the game, we’ve decided to focus on the decider with more aggressive play,” said Tan.

“We do not think about the results, instead, we work hard and play our best in every tournament. Being a professional player with a partner from a different country, it does not mean there is less pressure, we often put pressure on ourselves so that we will remain upbeat and focused,” added Tan.

This was the second time Hendra Setiawan has entered the final of an international tournament with a player from another country. In 2010, Setiawan partnered Anastasia Russkikh of Russia to make the Indonesia Open final, but was beaten by Robert Mateusiak/Nadiezda Zieba of Poland 18-21, 20-22.

For Tan Boon Heong, this was his first Superseries final since 2013, where he and Koo Kian Keat were defeated by Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Markis Kido of Indonesia in the 2013 French Open Super Series final. While Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan had last won the Dubai Super Series Finals in 2015.

Setiawan/Tan will face Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda of Japan in the final.

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