Tontowi and Liliyana Win Their First Indonesia Open Title

Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad celebrate after winning the match point in the 2017 Indonesia Open final in Jakarta on Sunday night (18/06). (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

By : Amal Ganesha | on 11:10 AM June 19, 2017
Category : Sports, Badminton, Featured

Jakarta. Indonesian mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir won their first Indonesia Open title by beating current world number one pair Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen of China at the Jakarta Convention Center on Sunday night (18/06).

Tontowi and Liliyana, who last made it to the final five years ago, broke their winless spell with straight games 22-20, 21-15 in only 45 minutes, taking home the $79,000 prize.

The Indonesian pair displayed their characteristic style in the match with Tontowi's powerful smashes from the back and Liliyana's flat returns at the front. This is the same style that won them gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The match was arguably intense from the start until Zheng and Chen got stuck on 15 points in the second match, which saw the Indonesians own the court until the end of the game.

Liliyana, 31, who is currently at peak performance in her career, was surprised, but also grateful for the outcome.

"We finally can show that we can win this tournament," Liliyana said of her first Indonesia Open title.

"We're grateful to reach this milestone," she said. "Wish us [well] to win more titles in future to make Indonesia proud."

The Indonesian pair's last win before this year's Indonesia Open was in November last year, when they triumphed at the Hong Kong Open.

Liliyana previously said that she aims for gold at next year's Asian Games, which will be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra.

Other top performers in the 2017 Indonesia Open include China's Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen in the men's doubles; Japan's Sayaka Sato in the women's singles; China's Jia Yifan and Chen Qingchen in the women's doubles; and India's Kidambi Srikanth in the men's singles.

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