Indonesia’s Thomas Cup team secured a ticket to the final round in Wuhan, China, in May, after persistently bettering a strong South Korean team in a 3-2 victory on Thursday night.
On Friday evening, the team was scheduled to face favorite China in the semifinals of the Thomas and Uber Cup Asian Zone preliminary round at the Macau Forum.
The Indonesian Thomas Cup team was defeated 3-0 by the Chinese team in their last preliminary round. Indonesian first single Taufik Hidayat had lost 21-13, 21-8 to Long Chen. In the second match, first Indonesian doubles Mohammad Ahsan and Bona Septano were also beaten 21-17, 21-12 by Biao Chai and Zhendong Guo. In the third match, Indonesian single Tommy Sugiarto was defeated by Jin Chen 14-21, 8-21.
The country’s Uber Cup team, however, needs a longer route to the finals after Maria Febe and her teammates bowed out to China on Thursday night.
They bounced back on Friday morning to defeat Singapore 5-0 in the first playoff match. The Uber team still needs to win playoff matches against Hong Kong and Malaysia, and a representative from the European Zone to keep its hopes alive of getting to the final round, which will be held in Wuhan, China, in May.
In Friday’s playoff match, Indonesia’s first single Adrianti Firdasari took the first win, beating Juan Gu 21-11, 10-21, 21-16 in their 45-minute battle.
The second match went much easier for Indonesia as first doubles Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari defeated Lei Yao and Shinta Mulia Sari 21-16, 22-20.
Second single Maria Febe Kusumastuti reaped a good result after outwitting Mingtian Fu 21-16, 17-21, 21-12 in the decisive match.
To confirm the victory, second Indonesian doubles Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Anneke Feinya Agustin whipped Jiayuan Chen and Ting Ting 21-5, 21-16; while, last Indonesian single Lindaweni Fanetri beat Aiying Xing in a rubber 18-21, 21-12, 21-16.
Maria said that she was confident in meeting Fu.
“When we were told that we’d meet Singapore [in the playoff] and I’d face Mingtian [Fu] yesterday [Thursday], I was sure that I could handle her because I was never defeated by her during our junior matches,” Maria said after the match on Friday as quoted by Antara.
She, however, had to go to a rubber match as she made a lot of unforced errors in the second game. “I was beaten by the wind [during the second game]; I failed in some of my own steps.”
Indonesia is currently leading the playoff group, followed by Hong Kong in second place after beating Malaysia 3-2.
Meanwhile, China has earned its ticket into the final round after outclassing Taiwan 3-0.
In the next two days, Indonesia will be up against Malaysia and Hong Kong. If Indonesia manages to win all matches during the playoff, the team will be well on the way to the Uber Cup final round in May.