World no.1 badminton pair make Indonesia Masters final

Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo advanced to the final of the Indonesia Masters. (AFP pic)

JAKARTA: World number one doubles pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo advanced to the final of the Indonesia Masters after defeating Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen on Saturday.

The Indonesian duo defeated the Danish shuttlers 21-19, 21-13 and will be facing fellow countrymen Muhammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan in the final.

They secured their spot after a win against China’s Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong in the men’s doubles with 21-11 and 21-17.

“I’m happy to have an all-Indonesian final, it will be exciting because Ahsan and Hendra are experienced players,” Sukamuljo told reporters after the game.

The country’s favourite mixed doubles team Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir also through to the final after defeating Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia with 22-20 and 21-11.

This will be Natsir’s last competition before she retires.

“Of course I’m nervous to say a farewell, I don’t know what to say,” Natsir said.

World number one Kento Momota of Japan also breezed through to the final after defeating former world champion Viktor Axelsen 21-15, 21-4.

Momota previously defeated Indonesia Masters badminton champion Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the quarter-final.

“It’s one of those days where nothing seems to be going well,” Axelsen told reporters.

Home favourite Jonathan Christie who previously won against India’s Kidambi Srikanth failed to secure a spot in the final after a loss from Danish shuttler Anders Antonsen.

Indonesia’s female doubles powerhouse Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu also suffered a loss from Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan with scores of 22-20, 20-22 and 21-12.

“It’s always exciting to play against Polii and Apriyani because the race has always been tight, especially when we play in Indonesia,” Matsutomo said through an interpreter.

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal also advanced to the final after a win over China’s He Bingjiao.