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Singapore Open: Arbi Tops Hidayat In Final
** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by
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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
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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