Malang: Tommy Sugiarto survived a close call in in the Indonesian Masters men’s final, needing three sets on Sunday to hold off Indian No. 1 seed Kidambi Srikanth 17-21, 21-13, 24-22 in 59 minutes.
No. 2 seed Sugiarto and Srikanth were neck-and-neck in the first set, with Srikanth opened a 12-8 lead before Sugiarto fought back to level the score at 13-13. However, Srikanth suddenly found his rhythm, produced a couple of cross-court and straight smashes to further extend the lead to 19-13 and earned the game point with a net stroke but Sugiarto saved two before sending one long to let Srikanth clinched the first set.
Srikanth seemed to have lost his focus in the second set, when the Indian made too much errors on the nets and allowed Sugiarto too much space to play all kinds of difficult shots and led 8-2. Sugiarto then took the second set with 21-13 after Srikanth hit the shuttlecock down the net.
Both Sugiarto and Srikanth showed the crowd a fascinating display of badminton in the decider with tense, dramatic, and gripping exchanges. When Sugiarto was leading at 19-15, Srikanth gave the Indonesian a gallant fight after he left Sugiarto stranded with a smash to move to 22-21. However, Srikanth’s three net shot errors at the critical moment, first a slow drop, second a flick and third a mistimed dribble, allowing Sugiarto fell on his knees for huge celebration.
With the cheering of home fans, unseeded Indonesians Berry Angriawan/Ryan Agung Saputra pulled off an upset to dispatch No. 2 seeds Chai Biao/Hong Wei of China 21-11, 22-20 in 35 minutes.
In an all-Indonesian affair, No. 1 seeds Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir proved they are still the No. 1 mixed doubles pair in Indonesia when they trounced compatriots Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto 21-18, 21-13 to clinch the mixed doubles crown.
Even though they are currently ranked world No. 49, Tang Yuanting/Yu Yang are champions in disguise because they have the capability to defeat any top ranked women’s doubles pair in the world. As predicted, Tang/Yu played dominantly to overcome world No. 4 and No. 1 seeds Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii of Indonesia 21-17, 21-11 to pick up their third championships of the year after their Bitburger Open and Hong Kong Open titles.
In women’s singles final, He Bingjiao beat compatriot Chen Yufei 21-18, 21-9 to become the women’s singles champion.