Kuching: Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo’s brilliant start in 2017 continued with an impressive win over World No. 1 men’s pair Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen at the Malaysia Open that was held at Perpaduan Stadium in Petra Jaya, Malaysia.
The quarter-finals match between the Indonesian pair and Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen of China was a rematch of the All England final, in which the Indonesian pair shrug off a bizarre first set, fighting back to claim the second and third with final score of 7-21, 21-17, 21-17.
Gideon/Sukamuljo looked confused in the first set. However, the Indonesian pair picked up their momentum at the end of second set, reeled off seven straight points to come from 14-17 to subdue the Chinese pair in the second set.
Despite falling behind at the beginning of decider, the Indonesia pair showed remarkable resilience to weather a barrage of smashes from Li/Liu before turning things around to clinch the decider.
“Undoubtedly we were blessed with good luck. Actually we applied the same strategies throughout the match, but we were better prepared to attack the Chinese pair in the second and third game, “said Gideon.
“We played with no lob and avoided lifting high shuttlecock to them, because the Chinese shuttlers are very tall players,” added Gideon.
“We didn’t find our rhythm in the first set, and the shuttlecocks we used were fast. So, we played a lot of net shots but the Chinese pair was able to kill the net shots quickly. Most importantly, the key to our victory was we didn’t give up easily. In addition, we used to play under pressure, and we did not think about winning, but instead scoring one point at a time,” said Sukamuljo.
The Indonesian pair will meet No. 2 seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan in the semi-finals.