Bangkok: In a men's single semi-final match that lasted 68 minutes, No. 3 seed Tommy Sugiarto fought back from dropping a set to defeat compatriot No. 10 seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting on Saturday to reach the Thailand Masters final.
Tommy Sugiarto looks to win his first international tournament in 2017 on Sunday. (photo: AFP)Tommy Sugiarto looks to win his first international tournament in 2017 on Sunday. (photo: AFP)
Ginting started the first set very well and was able to win the game 21-16.
In the second set, Ginting again outperformed Tommy at interval with 11-9. However, Sugiarto managed to refocus and regroup to snatch the second set 21-18.
Sugiarto's moment finally came in the third game in which he applied relentless pressure to Ginting to emerge victorious with 21-14.
"Anthony's shots were so accurate, I was having hard time adapt to his style of play until the interval in the second set," said Sugiarto.
"At the end of the second game, I noticed he was a bit shaky, his shots were not as accurate as the first game. I took the opportunity to break his rhythm in the decider, and he was physically drained towards the end of the third set," added Sugiarto.
Sugiarto will play 18-year-old Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand in the final.
The 2016 World Junior bronze medalist - Kantaphon Wangcharoen also was made to work before survived a huge scare to reach the Thailand Masters final. Playing in front of an estimated 2,000 local badminton fans, Wangcharoen recovered from the first game deficit to beat his arch-rival Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia 15-21, 21-18, 22-20 in 67 minutes to enter his first ever Grand Prix Gold final.
"Honestly, I thought I would lose after I lost the first game. But, the encouragements from coach and from the fans kept me going, I am so excited for the semi-final win," said Wangcharoen.
In women's singles, No. 1 seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan also involved in a nerve-wrecking battle with 2016 World junior champion Chen Yufei of China before seeing off her Chinese opponent 18-21, 22-20, 21-17 in 79 minutes.
"I was playing patiently, and it worked. I trained really hard in the off season and I am hoping to do well in my first tournament in 2017," said Ongbamrungphan.
Ongbamrungphan aimed to exact revenge on Aya Ohori of Japan in the final on Sunday.
"Ohori defeated me last October in the Thailand Open final. But I am a different player now. I am motivated to win especially with the support of the fans," added Ongbamrungphan.