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Tontowi-Liliyana finally win home tournament

Jun 19th, 2017

Indonesia's top mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir ended a seven year jinx to win their home tournament for the first time - defeating top seeds Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen in the final in the USD1 million BCA Indonesia Open Superseries Premier on Sunday.

The home fans went wild as the Rio Olympics champions defeated their Chinese opponents - ranked No 1 in the world - 22-20, 21-15 in 45 minutes at the Jakarta Convention Center.

"This title means a lot to us," said Tontowi after the win. "We have won the Olympics and world titles...we have won the prestigious All England but we never won our home tournament in our previous attempts.

"We reached the final in 2011 but lost to China's Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei. The following year we reached the final again but were beaten by Thailand's Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thoungthongkam for the title.

"Maybe the Istora Senayan was a jinx to us. JCC (Jakarta Convention Center) brought us luck and here we are celebrating after putting an end to the jinx that had been with us. It is a great feeling to win our home tournament for the first time."

Liliyana chipped in to say "it was a tough match" against the top seeds. In the same breath added that she was able to hold her own against the top seeds although she has yet fully recover from her knee injury she sustained after the Rio Olympics.

"We watched the videos on our opponents and this helped us a great deal in our win today," said Liliyana.

India's K. Srikanth celebrated his third superseries title with a 21-11, 21-19 win over Japan's Kazumasa Sakai in a 37 minute final and pocketed USD75,000 in prize money that came with it. He won the China Open Superseries (2014) and the India Open Superseries (2015).

Srikanth, a quarter-finalist in the Rio Olympics, reached the Singapore Open final in April this year but lost to compatriot B. Sai Praneeth in three sets.

"This win is a confidence booster for my preparations for the World Championships (in Glasgow, Scotland) in August. I also hope to do well in next week's Australia Open in Sydney," said Srikanth after his win over the Japanese qualifier.

The women's singles final also saw an upset when unseeded Sayaka Sato of Japan stunned fifth seed Sung Ji-hyun of Korea 21-13, 17-21, 21-14 in 78 minutes.

Europe's hopes of winning a title in Jakarta when No 2 seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen fell to China's Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen in the final. The third seeded Chinese won 21-19, 19-21, 21-18 in 71 minutes.

China also added the women's doubles through Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan. The Chinese seeded third upset second seeds Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee of Korea 21-1, 15-21, 21-10 in the final.

Men's singles 
K. Srikanth (Ind) beat Kazumasa Sakai (Jpn) 21-11, 21-19

Men's Doubles
Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn) beat Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen (Den) 21-19, 19-21, 21-18

Women's Singles
Sayaka Sato (Jpn) beat Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) 21-13, 17-21,  21-14 

Women's Doubles
Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn) beat Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) 21-19, 15-21, 21-10

Mixed Doubles
Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Ina) beat Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen (Chn) 22-20, 21-15


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