Liliyana Natsir one win away from swan song

Liliyana Natsir/Tontowi Ahmad aim for a fond farewell at home on Sunday. (photo: PBSI)
Liliyana Natsir/Tontowi Ahmad aim for a fond farewell at home on Sunday. (photo: PBSI)

Jakarta: Indonesian mixed doubles favorites Liliyana Natsir/Tontowi Ahmad have defeated Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying from Malaysia 22-20, 21-11 at Istora Senayan Stadium in the Indonesia Masters semi-finals to set up a mouth-watering clash with No. 1 seeds Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong of China on Sunday.

Liliyana Natsir’s push at the net which could not be returned by Goh Liu Ying, was enough to send the Rio Olympic gold medalists to the Indonesia Masters final.

Liliyana Natsir admitted she wouldn’t be satisfied by just reaching the final which would be the final match of her career.

“It’s going to be a day of mixed emotion for my farewell match, because I have to prepare what I have to say,” said Natsir jokingly.

“However, I would be more tense if I couldn’t make it to the final. Now that I’m in the final, I might be able to enjoy it more and hopefully I can give my best in the final,” added Natsir.

For Chan and Goh, they remained positive despite their 11th defeats to the Indonesian pair in their 12th career head-to-head encounter.

“Frankly, I’m quite happy with our performance despite losing to the same opponents who defeated us in the Rio Olympic final,” said Chan.

“The most important thing for us right now is to find a new coach as will be playing at the German Open which will be held from Feb 26 to March 3,” added Chan.

Meanwhile, the top seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong were made to work to pick up a 11-21, 21-14, 21-11 victory against Japan’s No. 3 seeds Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino.

In women’s singles, India’s No. 8 seed Saina Nehwal bounced back from dropping a set to see off China’s He Bingjiao 18-21, 21-12, 21-18 in a 58-minute battle. The former World No. 1 Nehwal is set to take on Olympic and world champion Carolina Marin of Spain in the final.

Marin also came “very close” to defeat as she was given a huge scare before outlasting China’s Chen Yufei 17-21, 21-11, 23-21.


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