Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tantowi Ahmad/Lilyana Natsir capture the crown without playing on finals

First seeded mix doubles, Tantowi Ahmad/Lilyana Natsir will take on second seeded, Chen Hung Ling/Cheng Wen Hsing in Sunday's Kumpoo macau open, looking to win at the US$200,000 Macau Open 2011.

Tantowi Ahmad/Lilyana Natsir booked his place by downing Thailand’s Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thoungthongkam 21-17, 21-11 to set up against Chen Hung Ling-Cheng Wen Hsing, who who were surprise winners of the Yonex Open Japan Superseries last month, had booked their tickets to the final by beating Indonesians Muhammad Rijal-Debby Susanto 18-21, 21-14, 21-14.

Their unfortunate decision to withdraw means world No. 4s Tontowi-Liliyana will take home the mixed doubles crown. It is their fourth Open title and fifth overall of the year – they won the SEA Games gold medal last month.

The Indonesian pair, who joined forces last year, made waves earlier this year when they won three tournaments back-to-back to shoot up the world rankings.

They first made their mark at the India Open where they defeated teammates Fran Kurniawan-Pia Zebadiah Bern 21-18, 23-21, to claim their first OSIM BWF World Superseries title as partners.

They followed that the following week by winning the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold by beating Malaysians Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying 18-21, 21-15, 21-19, before winning the Singapore Open Superseries where their opponents were Hung Ling-Wen Hsing. They won 21-14, 27-25.

Tontowi-Liliyana missed out in the following tournament, losing the Indonesia Open Superseries final to world champions Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei of China 20-22, 21-14, 21-9.

That was their last final before the SEA Games last month. They appear to be coming back into form, which will certainly liven up the BWF World Superseries Finals, which will be held at Liu Zhou, China, from Dec 14-18, where the best eight pairs in the world will do battle for the prestigious title.

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