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Singapore Open: Arbi Tops Hidayat In Final

** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and their Ontario (Canada) agents - SHAH Enterprises **

August 29, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Former world men's singles champion Heryanto Arbi of Indonesia used his trademark leaping smashes and his many years of tournament experience to best his eighteen-year old teammate Taufik Hidayat in the men's singles final of the Konica Cup Singapore Open today. Arbi defeated Hidayat 13-15, 15-10 and 15-11.

With his victory, the 27-year old Arbi who is reportedly contemplating leaving Indonesia to play for Taiwan or Singapore because he was being bypassed for international tournaments by the Indonesian badminton association showed the powers-that-be in Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan that he was not yet a has-been and still was a world-beater.

In the men's doubles championship match, the unseeded Malaysians Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah completed a glorious run at the Singapore Open by defeating the current All-England champions Chandra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan of Indonesia 15-7, 14-15 and 15-12.

In women's singles, another former world champion Ye Zhaoying also showed that she was not yet done. Ye who was defeated in the early rounds of the recent world champioships this past May, beat her teammate Gong Zhichao 11-5, 5-11 and 11-7.

China's Huang Nanyan and Yang Wei took the women's doubles title. They easily turned back the final challenge of Indonesians Indarti Isoliana and Carmelita 15-3 and 15-8.

In the Arbi-Hidayat match, the two Indonesians played a close opening set. Hidayat nosed ahead at 11-8 but Arbi was able to catch up at 13-all. Hidayat though was too good for Arbi in the end and the young Indonesian star took the game 15-13.

In the second set, Arbi unleashed his booming jumpsmashes to race ahead of Hidayat 6-1. Hidayat fought back and slowly made up the deficit until he finally tied up the game 7-all. Arbi though used his experience to upset the young player's rhythm and also to recharge his energy. He slowed up the play by asking for shuttle changes and by taking his time between rallies.

Arbi's tactics worked and he was able to take the second set 15-10.

In the decider, Arbi again was able to unleash his trademark smashes and pulled away to a 7-3 advantage. Hidayat again fought back as Arbi tired and the young Indonesian was able to move ahead 8-7 at the change of ends.

Hidayat pulled further ahead 10-7 but Arbi who had again slowed down the play began to play with more energy. The former world champion caught up at 10-all and soon was at match point 14-10. Hidayat saved match point three times but Arbi was not to be denied on his fourth attempt.

In the men's doubles final, the Malaysians Choong and Lee went on the attack in the first set and surprised Wijaya and Gunawan with their aggressive play. Choong and Lee took the first game in a quick 10 minutes.

After the 90-second break, the Indonesians had figured out the Malaysian tactics and the two pairs played a close early second game. With the score tied at 5-all, Choong and Lee scored twice to pull ahead 7-5 and then reached match point at 14-12.

Wijaya and Gunawan scrambled and rallied to tie the score at 14-all. The Malaysians gambled and chose not to play a three-point tiebreak. Their gamble failed and the Indonesians were able to force a third set by winning at 15-14.

In the decider, the two pairs again played a close game in the early going but the Indonesians were able to surge ahead to an 11-5 advantage. Choong and Lee fought back and scored 9 points to stand at championship point again.

Wijaya and Gunawan turned back the Malaysians to regain the serve and score their twelfth point. The Malaysians though stopped the Indonesians and got the serve back. The Indonesians killed the first serve but in the rally after the second serve, Lee was able to unload a smash that won the title for the Malaysians.

In the Ye-Gong women's singles final, Ye overpowered Gong in the first set with an uncharacteristic aggressive, attacking game to win at 11-5. Ye continued to attack in the second but Gong had gotten the hang of Ye's tactics and used her quickness of foot to retrieve drops and smashes. Her defense forced Ye into mistakes and Gong was able to capture the second 11-5.

In the third set, Ye played more conservatively and patiently, rallying with Gong and attacking only when she had Gong out of position or off-balance. Ye's patience paid off and she took the decider 11-7.


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