Birmingham: Suffering a calf injury didn’t slow down the attacks from Hendra Setiawan, to certain degree, change of game plan from Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan due to the injury really confused their Malaysian opponents, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik in the All England final.
Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan started the first set slowly and cautiously as the pair were trying to prevent aggravating Hendra Setiawan’s right calf injury. As a result, Chia/Soh romped to a 21-11 victory in the first set.
Setiawan carried a do-or-die attitude into the second set, where he became the differentiator by controlling the net, allowing the Indonesian pair opened up a 5-0 and 7-2 lead. Two failed challenges from Ahsan/Setiawan brought Malaysian pair to 4-7. Despite strong pressure from Chia/Soh, Ahsan/Setiawan successfully led 11-6 at the interval.
With Setiawan at the front, the two-time World Champions from Indonesia continued to maintain tie net control, forcing high lift from Chia/Soh, thus giving Ahsan a lot of opportunities to score points through his strong smashes. The World No. 7 Indonesian pair successfully took advantage of the momentum and won the game point through a good placement from Hendra as Soh hit the shuttlecock of bound.
The Malaysian pair seemed afraid to take initiative on the net in the decider, while the Indonesian pair continued to dictate the pace of the game by pressuring Soh Wooi Yik to make mistakes either through some trick net shot from Setiawan or strong smashes from Ahsan.
Hendra Setiawan was able to find an opening at the right back court of Chia/Soh to score the match point at 20-12. Again, Soh Wooi Yik became their main target for launching attack at match point, which eventually prompted Aaron Chia to lift a high shot and Ahsan killed it to bring the Indonesians to their second All England title since 2014.
The Malaysian team should really ask themselves why weren’t they learn something from same mistakes committed by No. 3 seeds Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda in the semi-finals against Ahsan/Setiawan, and why did they fail to take advantage of the injured Hendra Setiawan.
In women’s doubles, No. 5 seeds Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan of China broke out of a recent slump for their first ever All England trophy by beating No. 3 seeds Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara of Japan 18-21, 22-20, 21-11 in 83 minutes.