Hong Kong: World No. 2 men’s pair Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan came back from losing the second set to beat China’s World No. 3 Li Jun Hui/Liu Yu Chen with 21-13, 16-21, 21-16 in the Hong Kong Open semi-final on Saturday.
Setiawan/Ahsan who also known as “The Daddies”, won the first game easily in just 12 minutes. However, Setiawan/Ahsan were overwhelmed by the accelerated tempo of Li/Liu by losing the second game.
“We came out attacking in the first set, which made them very uncomfortable. But, they changed the game by playing fast in the second set,” said Setiawan.
In the third game, Setiawan/Ahsan were also trailed by 9-12. However, after 14-16, Setiawan/Ahsan managed to reel off seven consecutive points to secure the ticket to the final.
“When we were behind, we kept reminding ourselves that we still have chance and we shouldn’t give up,” said Ahsan.
“We really have to improve on our serve, we were having troubles in our serves. Because our opponents’ were strong in attack, if we lift the shuttlecocks, they would kill it,” added Ahsan.
Setiawan and Ahsan will play Choi Solgyu/Seo Seung Jae of Korea in the final who defeated Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe of Japan 21-17, 21-19.
“We will be prepared in the final, especially when the shuttlecock here is slow,” commented Ahsan.
Indonesia also booked another ticket in the Hong Kong Open final through men’s singles player Anthony Sinisuka Ginting when Ginting defeated compatriot Jonatan Christie 22-20, 13-21, 21-18 in the semi-final. Ginting will face local shuttler Lee Cheuk Yiu on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Lee Cheuk Yiu made headlines three days ago when he held up an outstretched right hand and his left index finger, in a gesture interpreted as supporting ‘Five demands, not one less’ — a slogan chanted by the protesters in Hong Kong whom had caused widespread disruption and violence across the “Pearl of the Orient”.
Lee defeated Kidambi Srikanth of India 21-9, 25-23 in Saturday’s semi-finals.