Jakarta: Jonatan Christie advanced to the main stage of the BCA Indonesia Open badminton championship after defeating their opponents on Tuesday in the qualifying stage flocked to by holidaying spectators.
Jonatan defeated fellow Indonesian Firman Abdul Kholik 21-16, 19-21, 25-22 in the first match of qualifications before taking the scalp of Thai Boonsak Ponsana with a 22-10, 21-17 win in the second match. Anthony was through at the expense of his senior player Sony Dwi Kuncoro, whom he overcame 21-9, 21-16 in the second match. He had beaten countryman Andre Kurniawan Tedjono in the first match 21-15, 21-16.
Top Indonesian mixed doubles pair, Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir, exacted a straight-set 26-24, 21-14 revenge on Tuesday over Reginald Lee Chun Hei/ Chau Hoi Wah of Hong Kong in the first round of mixed doubles event. Lee/Chau shocked Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir at last Saturday’s Australian Open semi-finals, before becoming the first mixed doubles pair from Hong Kong to win a Superseries title.
As the opening day of the US$800,000 tournament coincided with the Buddhist holy day of Waisak, attendance came up in such big numbers many failed to obtain tickets.
Another young debutant, Anthony, put in an equally outstanding run in his defeat of his more experienced teammates.
“I played against Sony in the Vietnam [International] Challenge. He won it, but I learned a lot from that. So today I forced him to run around the court a lot to drain his energy and it worked,” Anthony said.
“Sony has a long history of waist injury and his age also played up,” said the 18-year-old Anthony, who is hailed to be the next Taufik Hidayat, Indonesia’s Olympic gold medalist.
In the women’s singles, Maria Febe Kusumastuti, Ruselli Hartawan and Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia also progressed to the main stage.
Indonesian qualifiers in the main stage of the women’s doubles include Nisak Puji Lestari/Merisa Cindy Sahputri and Suci Rizky Andini/Maretha Dea Giovani.