From one ASEAN member to another, it was time for the third Super Series Premier tournament of the year as the 2017 Indonesia Open Super Series Premier was held from 12-18 June at the Jakarta Convention Center.
The number one seed and a six time champion here started his campaign against the local boy, Tommy Sugiarto. The Malaysian was stretched but he eventually prevailed 13-21, 21-10, 21-18. The second seeded Korean, however displayed a clinical performance to getter the better of Sai Praneeth (India). With the third seed, Viktor Axelsen and two time Olympic champion Lin Dan losing their opening match encounters, it was pretty sure that the road to championship won’t be easy for the top players. The second round saw more upsets as Lee Chong Wei (top seed), Jan O Jorgensen (fourth seed) and Shi Yuqi (fifth seed) all crashed out. In the quarterfinals, the giant slayer from India, H S Prannoy created another upset as he defeated the 2016 Olympic Champion, Chen Long. In the other three last eight encounters, Kazumasa Sakai, Srikanth Kidambi and Son Wan-ho made it to the semis.
It was a battle of the minnows in the first semi final, and both the players played their hearts out. Eventually, it was the Japanese who prevailed to reach his first ever Superseries finals.
The other semi final saw the runners up at the Singapore Open reach his second consecutive final with a 24-22 victory in the decider. The title clash was a one sided affair as the Indian became the first man from his country to triumph on Indonesian soil.
The top seeds weren’t spared in the women’s discipline too as the Rio gold medalist, Carolina Marin, He Bingjiao and Ratchanok Intanon, all lost in the first round. It was the end of the Indian campaign as both Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu were defeated by their respective opponents. After the last eight round was over, there was only one seeded player left in the field as Tai Tzu-ying, Akane Yamaguchi and Sun Yu crashed out, losing to Nitchaon Jindapol, Sayaka Sato and Beiwen Zhang respectively. In the semifinals, it was the Japanese and the fifth seed who crossed their penultimate hurdles to face off in the summit clash. In the finals, the unseeded player produced one of her best performance to win her first ever Super Series title.
With a shock first round loss for the home favourites and the top seeds, Gideon and Sukamuljo, the top quarter was left wide open. As a further disappointment for the crowd, another seeded Indonesian pair lost in the second round, along with the departure of the fifth seeded Chinese pairing of Chai Biao and Hong Wei. The quarter finals was an easy affair for the second and the third seeds but it meant an end of the road for the sixth seeds from Japan. The last four encounter, saw the lone Indonesian pair succumb to the second seeds Danes in three tight sets. Whereas, the third seeds from China were also taken the distance by their counterparts, whom they defeated 21-18 in the decider.
The final was a closely contested affairs as both the teams left no stone unturned but eventually it was the lower seeded Chinese duo who finished off the match with a 21-19, 19-21, 21-18 victory.
The misery of the top seeds made its way here too as the top seeds Matsutomo/Takahashi failed to cross the first hurdle. Seventh seeds from China also became the victim of a first round upset. In the next round, the fourth seeded Koreans, Kyung-eun and Seung-chan and sixth seeded pair of Ying and Yu crashed out of the tournament. With only one quarterfinal featuring two seeded pairs, the second seeds, Pederson/Juhl were defeated by the fifth seeds from China. The last four featured, the eighth seeds, Tanaka/Yonemoto (Japan), third seeds, Chang Ye-na and Lee So-he (South Korea), the fifth seeds and the unseeded Indonesian pair of Awanda/Istriani. It was contrasting victories for the two highest seeds left in the fray. In the summit clash, the Chinese pair of Cheng Qingchen and Jia Yifan proved to be the better team as they won the match 21-19, 15-21, 21-10.
The opening round saw four of the eight seeds losing their matches. It was au revoir for the third seeds, Zhang Nan and Li Yinhui, fourth seeds, Nielsen and Pedersen, seventh seeds, Praveen Jordan/ Debby Susanto as well as the eighth seeds, Puavaranukroh/Taerattanachai. In the second round, it was the end of the road for second seeds, Kai/Yaqiong from China. With three of the top four seeds out, the draw was left wide open but the fifth seeds weren’t lucky enough as they crashed out in the quarters leaving just two seeds in the tournament, both of whom got the better of their opponents in contrasting fashion to make it to the finals. For the crowd’s delight, it were the home favourites and the sixth seeded pair of Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir who got the better off the number one seeds, Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen to finish on top of the podium.