The prestigious Yonex Japan Open was missing some big Chinese names , such as Lin Dan, Xie Xingfang, Lu Lan and men’s badminton doubles champions Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng. Which meant more opportunities for the other countries…perhaps China would not be so dominant this tournament? Find out who won the badminton doubles finals here, plus watch some great badminton videos…
Markis Kido / Hendra Setiawan (INA) vs. Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki / Rian Sukmawan (INA)
Not even the 2005 World champions Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach of the USA could stop all-Indonesian men’s doubles final showdown!
First seeds and Men’s Badminton Doubles Olympic champions, Kido and Setiawan had been sidelined for most of the season while Kido battled a knee injury and high-blood pressure. So this pair were hungry for victory.
The whole match was characterised by aggressive play from both sides, which results in short, though often spectacular rallies, with hard jumping smashes and behind the back defensive shots and dives, particularly from Dasuki who is a real showman as well as a fantastic badminton doubles player.
It took just 3 minutes of play to reach the first mid-game interval at 11-8 to Kido/Setiawan. Dasuki/Sukmawan showed style and composure but Kido/Setiawan committed fewer errors and hard the edge throughout the first game, taking it 21-19.
The second game was equally fast and furious, with plenty of spectacular shots. This time Dasuki/Sukmawan were ahead most of the time, reaching 20-16. But then 2 unforced errors plus brilliant net play from Setiawan and Kido brought it to 20-20.
Nerves were free-flying on both sides of the court, as both pairs committed one unforced error after another to reach a 22-all deadlock. In the end Kido finished the match with a decisive jump-smash. Kido/Setiawan saved 5 match points in total, winning 24-22 and putting an end to the country’s eight-month Super Series title drought. The whole badminton doubles match went at a blistering pace, over in under 29 minutes.
“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for,” Markis told the Jakarta Globe in a text message. “We finally ended our title drought in Japan. I’m very happy.”
“This win is special for us because it is also our first Super Series title this year. However we need to improve on our defence,” added his ice-cool partner Setiawan.
And following on this success, the pair have big badminton doubles plans,
“We want to win the upcoming Yonex All England next year, and the Asian Games,” said Setiawan, before his partner added “and of course, the Thomas Cup”.
Men’s Badminton Doubles Final score: 21-19 24-22
Badminton Video: Highlight from early part of the final game (quality improves after first 8 seconds):
Full men’s doubles match on video (with English commentary):
Japan Open 2009 Badminton Video Men’s Doubles Finals
Jin Ma / Xiaoli Wang (CHN) vs Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna (JPN)
The home crowd were really behind Maeda / Suetsuna, the first Japanese to enter a final for 19 years. Against them were a young Chinese badminton doubles pair who have been playing outside their home country for just 1 year – yet had already won 2 major badminton doubles titles.
They proved strong at the start of the first game, demonstrating superb defensive skills which consistently frustrated the Chinese attack. However, the Chinese started to work more patiently against the Japanese defence, going from 9-11 down to 16-13 up, eventually taking the set at 21-19.
Recovering quickly from this setback, the Japanese took a strong lead to 4-0, but the Chinese kept varying their shots, mixing in slower pushes and deceptive cross-court drops to keep the Japanese off balance, and slowly narrowed the gap, until the Chinese pulled ahead at 11-10. At this point, the sheer exertion required by the Chinese to sustain their attack began to show, and the Japanese pulled ahead again, scoring 5 points in a row to get to 15-12.
Kudos to the Chinese though – they renewed their attacking efforts and scored 4 straight points to pull into the lead again, going on to win 21-18.
The game showed an interesting contrast of badminton doubles tactics – the Japanese, demonstrating a formidable defence, but in the end they were too content to react in this match, failing to capitalise on attacking opportunities, while the the Chinese pair were much more dynamic and energetic, showing a flair for imaginative shots. The difference in aggressiveness is illustrated by the fact that the Chinese hit 18 smash winners in the match – compared to just 9 hit by the Japanese.
Women’s Badminton Doubles Final score: 21-19 21-18
Badminton Video: Full ladies’ doubles match (with English commentary):
Japan Open 2009 Badminton Video Women’s Doubles Finals
Songphon Anugritaywon / Kunchala Voravichitchaikul (THAI) vs Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen (DEN)
The most dramatic badminton doubles match of the tournament was unseeded Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul of Thailand in a monumental struggle against sixth-seeded Nielsen and Pedersen of Denmark, in the mixed doubles final.
The Danish pair dominated the first game over the clearly nervous Thai pair, getting an early lead which slowly widened, finishing 21-13. But the Thais regained their composure in the second game and it was tight until they pulled ahead to 13-10. A lead they maintained until they won four consecutive points, finishing 21-16.
The third game proved to be a dog fight as the Danish pair consistently force their game on their more inexperienced opponents, maintaining a constant lead. Trailing 15-18 in the decider, the Thais started to dominate the rallies with great attacking play, rattling off 5 consecutive points to put them in the lead for the first time in this game.
At 19-19 in the decider, suspense was at its peak, but it was the Thais who gained the first match point, which Voravichitchaikul wasted on a bad serve. But she got a second chance, and this time capitalised on it, clinching their first major international victory with the game clock counting down to an hour on court. This was easily the biggest upset of the tournament.
“This was a great win for us here with all the fans cheering us on. We now want to remain focused and continue to train hard in an effort to be a great pair like our more senior compatriots Prapakamol and Thungthogkam [who won the Japan Open mixed badminton doubles final in 2005]”, said an elated Anugritayawon after their epic victory.
“At the beginning of the first set we were so nervous, we tried to play our best but the nervous tension affected our technique and we were no match for the Danes in that opening set.”
Altogether a truly memorable badminton doubles match!
Mixed Doubles Final score: 13-21 21-16 22-20
Badminton Video: Highlight from the end of the final game of Badminton Mixed Doubles:
The Japan Open ended with 3 titles for the Chinese, and one badminton doubles title each for the Indonesians and the Thais. Once again China dominate, even without many of their strongest players. But altogether a fantastic set of badminton doubles matches!