Chou Tien Chen, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo win Indonesia Open

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Both Chou Tien Chen (L) and Anders Antonsen lying on the court after an incredible match. (photo: Xinhua/Zulkarnain)
Both Chou Tien Chen (L) and Anders Antonsen lying on the court after an incredible match. (photo: Xinhua/Zulkarnain)

Jakarta: For the first time in his career, World No. 3 men’s singles player Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan had won the BWF World Super Series 1000 event, outlasted Anders Antonsen of Denmark in a marathon Indonesia Open final that lasted 91 minutes.

En route to the final, Chou defeated Lin Dan in the second round, toppled No. 6 seed and home favorite Jonatan Christie in quarter-final, and extended his career meeting record against Wangcharoen to 4-0 after Saturday’s semi-final victory.

In the final, Chou started with aggressive attacks which saw him quickly opened up a 6-1 lead. However, Antonsen was able to narrow the gap to 18-20, before Chou wrapped up the first game 21-18.

The second set started in a similar fashion as the first set where Chou was quick to race to 5-1. Antonsen tried to disturb Chou’s rhythm by using different type of serving techniques, and was able to lead with 11-8 at the interval.

At 17-17, the umpire from Australia made an absolutely mind boggling and ridiculous call against Chou, saying that he blocked the shot from Antonsen and gave the 18th point to Antonsen, where, from the video replay, Antonsen was actually the person who had his racket cross the net and Chou was about 1 meter away and not even near the net.

Chou was obviously unhappy with the call, he remained calm but unfortunately, Antonsen was able to win the second game 26-24 with a baseline shot that was called “in” by Hawkeye.

The Taiwanese player who had played three consecutive 3-setters from the second round until semi-final, showed his strong stamina going into the decider by producing explosive movements and attacks to finally claim the title with a 21-15 win in the third set.

Chou Tien Chen and Anders Antonsen pose for pictures during the medal ceremony. (photo: Xinhua/Zulkarnain)
Chou Tien Chen and Anders Antonsen pose for pictures during the medal ceremony. (photo: Xinhua/Zulkarnain)

“It was a tough match, but I believed I’ve shown some improvements. I’ll need to recover quickly to get ready for the Japan Open next week,” said Chou.

“After the controversial call by the umpire, I knew I couldn’t do anything, therefore, I re-focused and tried to play a good match,” added Chou.

Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan (L), Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo pose pictures with their kids at the awards ceremony. (photo: Xinhua/Du Yu/IANS)
Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan (L), Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo pose pictures with their kids at the awards ceremony. (photo: Xinhua/Du Yu/IANS)

The home crowd was thrilled and just loved every minute of the all-Indonesian men’s doubles battle between No. 1 seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and No. 4 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan. Gideon/Sukamuljo eventually able to defend the title by beating Ahsan/Setiawan 21-19, 21-16 in just 28 minutes.

“We were nervous at the start of the first game because it was lot of pressure. It’s never easy to get points from Ahsan/Hendra. It’s just that after being able to win in the first game, then our second was getting better,” said Sukamuljo after the match.

“Frankly, we were lucky, because we had a hard time anticipating the direction of their shots due to the strong wind condition inside the stadium,” said Gideon.

“This match was not much different compared to the 2019 Indonesia Masters, because we know each other’s playing style very well,” added Kevin.

The Japanese camp enjoyed double joy on Sunday as Akane Yamaguchi beat P. V. Sindhu 21-15, 21-16 for the women’s title while Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota saw off teammates Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi 21-16 21-18 to win the women’s doubles crown.

Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong extended their career victory over Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping to 9-1 after a 21-13, 21-18 win in the mixed doubles final.

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