Indonesia's Jonatan Christie hits a drop shot against Denmark's Rasmus Gemke in the first round of the Blibli Indonesia Open 2019 at Istora Senayan in Jakarta on Tuesday. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

Indonesians Dominate First Day of Blibli Indonesia Open 2019


JULY 16, 2019

Jakarta. Three singles players and three doubles pairings from Indonesia made it to the second round of the Blibli Indonesia Open 2019 badminton tournament that began at Istora Senayan in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Asian Games 2018 champion Jonatan Christie was one of the men's singles players who won their games on Tuesday. His compatriot Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and women's singles player Gregoria Mariska Tunjung also won.

The successful doubles pairs were men's doubles pairing Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and women's doubles pairs Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah and Nadya Melati and Greysia Polli and Apriyani Rahayu.

Jonatan defeated Denmark's ace shuttler Rasmus Gemke amid a strong indoor breeze and heavy shuttlecocks.

"Praise the Lord I got through the first round. I had to fight hard because my opponent played well. I tried not to focus on the breeze, but on how I could get out of pressure situations," Jonatan said.

Jonatan will face another Danish player, Hans Kristian Vittingus, in the second round.

"Vittingus has more experience and is a diligent player. His defense is very tough to break," Jonatan said.

Jonatan is one of the favorites of the tournament after winning the gold medal in men's singles in last year's Jakarta Asian Games. 

Meanwhile, Indonesia's favorite women's doubles pair Greysia Polii and Apriani Rahayu made it to the second round after defeating Japanese rivals Ayako Sakuramoto and Yukiko Takahata.

"Winning this match was our first goal. We want to approach this tournament round by round, just focus on the next match," Greysia said after the game.

In last year's Open, men's doubles pair Kevin and Marcus and mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir won gold for Indonesia. 

Tommy Sugiarto, who sits number three in the national ranking, is another big hope for Indonesia this year. 

Comeback kid Shesar Hiren Rhustavito is also expected to do well after returning from the national training camp.

They will have to face stiff competition from Japan's Kento Momota, Denmark's Viktor Axelsen, China's Shi Yuqi and Chen Long and Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen.

The Blibli Indonesia Open 2019 offers a whopping $1.25 million prize money, which makes it the richest tournament on the HSBC BWF World Tour.