Basel: The 2013 and 2015 World men’s doubles champions, Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan became Indonesia’s last hope to win the 2019 Badminton World Championships title after they saw off a spirited challenge from compatriots Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto 21-16, 15-21, 21-10 in the semi-final on Saturday.
“Thank God, we were able to survive the semi-final match. The match was not easy. Because in addition to compete in term of badminton skills, we also have to battle them mentally because we all didn’t want to lose,” said Ahsan.
After losing the second set, Ahsan/Setiawan upped their tempo since the beginning of the third game, which caught their opponents off guard and ultimately won the decider with 21-10.
“Our second game was too much defense. So the third game we were being more proactive in attacks, which turned out to be good for us,” said Setiawan.
In the final, Ahsan/Setiawan will face Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi of Japan where the Japanese pair pulled off an upset to beat defending champions Li Junhui/Liu Yu Chen of China 21-19, 21-13.
Meanwhile, the men’s singles World No. 1 Kento Momota will be looking for a back-to-back title at the World Championships final on Sunday as he showed his dominance to down India’s B Sai Praneeth in the semi-finals.
Even though Momota only took a slight 11-10 lead into the interval in the first set, he started to unleash smashes that saw him rolled past Praneeth 21-13 in the first.
Momota’s strong defense really frustrated Praneeth in the second set as he wrapped up the game 21-8 and was one win away from his second career world championships title.
The 24-year-old Japanese will now face Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in the final. The Dane defeated Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-15, 21-10 on Saturday.