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Brilliant TAI Tzu Ying wins the Indonesia Open

Playing in front of a packed Istora Senayan TAI Tzu Ying won her third Indonesia Open with a display that underlined her sheer class. Using exquisite net play, incredible drops, and outrageous angles this was a performance that highlighted her outstanding talent. Again, she had to come from behind and again her intense sporting instincts pushed her to victory.

Credit: Xu Qin/Xinhua/Alamy Live News

WANG Zhiyi started the first set very strongly. Her sharp smashes from the rear combined with great court coverage were intimidating and effective. She has built a reputation as a giant killer over the past couple of months and it was clear that she had TTY in her sights. As TAI’s creative genius started tipping towards errors WZY was solid and closed out the first set 23-21.

Then TTY entered a different dimension. Suddenly, like a true champion she found another level in the second game. In an astonishing passage of play she annihilated WZY to go to the mid set interval 11-0. She was simply unplayable; her net shots were divine but more importantly she was making fewer errors and had activated a deep desire to win. Uncharacteristic shouts and occasionally a clenched fist betrayed her emotional response to the challenge. WZY was outclassed and although she fought back bravely the second set was wrapped up 21-6.

Set 3 belonged to the Queen. She controlled the game even though the score was close up to 13-13. Her momentum was irresistible towards the end and she wrapped up the match 21-15 with yet another brilliant net shot.

Triple champions are rare: this third Indonesia Open win can be added to her three All England titles. This was an awesome campaign; she is truly one of the greatest, most remarkable players of all time.


If you enjoyed this then take a look at my article about her epic victory over CHEN Yu Fei https://womensbadminton.co.uk/2022/06/18/tai-tzu-ying-the-comeback-queen/


©2022 Amanda Bloss All Rights Reserved

Featured

TAI Tzu Ying: The Comeback Queen

Dr Tai prescribed happiness for her millions of fans with this magnificent victory to reach the final of the Indonesia Open. Badminton Lovers enjoyed the exquisite pain of watching the Queen dead and buried only to witness an astonishing fightback and eventual triumph.

TTY’s reaction to the net fault. Screengrab courtesy Sept & BWF

The first set was absolute carnage. CHEN Yu Fei assembled quick bursts of points and dominated without doing anything dramatic. She is particularly good at screwing down the pressure on opponents in these situations. Fate was working against TAI Tzu Ying as well. The umpire called a doubtful fault for touching the net at 0-3. TTY was incredulous but summoned up a Polii moment, smiled then turned away. It was looking bad and a spiral down to defeat beckoned. Before we knew it the first set was gone 10-21.

The second set was breathtaking. 0-3 down and the match was slipping away. But TTY refused to concede any easy points; she upped her pace and fought for every scrap. The Istora Senayan pulsed with excitement as the lead switched between the two players. It was unbearably stressful to watch as TTY faced down five match points, eventually closing out the set 26-24 to force a decider.

After such an extraordinary battle the third set was tranquil in comparison; TAI Tzu Ying easing through 21-12. Fans crave days like these. She is a once-in-a-generation competitor, her resilience and spirit in the second set to pull off a hair-raising escape was spectacular. Tomorrow is another day. The final and a chance to win her third Indonesia Open. Go TAI!


©2022 Amanda Bloss All Rights Reserved

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Greysia Polii

Greysia’s farewell party is at Istora on the last day of the Indonesia Masters – the rumours are true; she is finally hanging up her racket. It is a chance for Indonesian badminton fans to celebrate her successes and for her to put an official full stop to a wonderful career.

“I was born to be a badminton player…I wanted to make history for Indonesia”

Greysia Polii
Apriyani Rahayu and Greysia Polii of Indonesia react after winning their match against Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan of China. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

GreyAp’s Gold medal match at the Olympics was dazzling; they played their best game at the perfect moment and wrote themselves into Indonesian badminton legend.

2021 was the Golden Year but there have been countless twists and turns in a lifetime of badminton achievements. There have been critical moments along the way when she could have given up the sport and found a conventional job. The thing about Greysia is that she really does live the motto #Comebackstronger: she is brave and resilient. If she gets knocked down, she just gets back up again, greets the hard tests with a smile and continues the fight

It must have been tempting to walk away from the sport following her harsh treatment at London 2012. The black card was a shocking sanction especially with a suspension on top, but she endured this and then rekindled her career with Nitya Krishinda Maheswari.

Between 2013-2016 the duo stepped up a level and proved that Indonesia’s  WD had the quality to compete against the best. Their 2014 Asian Games gold was evidence they relished testing themselves against the world’s finest pairs. Over the next 2 years they consistently reached finals and semis; as the Rio Olympics loomed, they were ranked 2 in the world with every hope of a medal. Disappointingly their 100% record in the group stages was shattered in the QF, and they returned home empty handed.

Nitya’s injuries meant her career was at an end so for a second time Greysia contemplated her own exit. It was a pivotal moment; her 30th birthday was on the horizon, and there was no obvious partner for her to continue with. At this point fate took a hand in the form of Eng Hian who persuaded her to defer retirement so that she could help to mentor some of the juniors. In 2017 along came a young, raw Apriyani Rahayu. Success together came quickly (2017 Thailand Open and 2017 French Open) but it was a sector full of high caliber pairs and they were never able to totally dominate , after a couple of years some analysts believed they were reaching the limit of what they could achieve together.

History tells us that the analysts were wrong and they completely underestimated Greysia Polii’s fighting spirit and commitment to her sport. She is an athlete who is strong and smart and will always be remembered as Indonesia’s first WD Olympic Gold medalist. I still cry when I watch the end of that match, don’t you? Thanks for everything Greysia and Happy Retirement.


If you enjoyed this then read my article about the Olympic campaign https://womensbadminton.co.uk/2021/08/12/brilliant-polii-and-rahayu-win-olympic-gold/ or watch the match on YouTube


©2022 Amanda Bloss All Rights Reserved