Badminton: China reach Sudirman finals

Badminton: China reach Sudirman finals
China's Chen Long

DONGGUAN, China - China advanced to the finals of the Sudirman Cup on Saturday after winning tightly contested matches against Indonesia.

Indonesia fell 3-1 in the semi-finals to home-team powerhouse China, losing in the men's and women's singles and the women's doubles.

Chinese badminton star Chen Long, who walked onto the court in Dongguan to loud applause, controlled the first game against Indonesia's Christie Jonatan but eked out the win after a tight second game in the men's singles with a final score of 21-10, 21-15.

"In the second game ... I had a similar performance with the Indonesian player. I was quite conservative in my play and he was aggressive," Chen told reporters after the match.

"He (Jonatan) played very well," Chen added.

Chen also said he did not have a preference of who will be in the men's singles match in the finals on Sunday, with himself and compatriot Lin Dan playing for the Chinese team for the cup.

"All that matters is that China wins the finals, and not which one will be playing," he said.

Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan started off strong, winning the first game of the day in the men's doubles despite loud cheers for the Chinese duo Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng from the thousands watching.

The Indonesian pair continued to control the second game and won 16-21, 17-21.

In the women's singles, Indonesia's Bellaetrix Manuputty retired after suffering an injury to the leg during the first game, while leading top seeded Li Xuerui 3-5.

Indonesia's Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii were unable to keep their team's hopes alive in the women's doubles against China's Tang Yuanting and Yu Yang.

The Indonesian pair won their first match but that was the only good news as their opponents improved their play and won the next two games, as the crowds got louder in their support for the home team.

"In the first game, we were both very nervous so we didn't play very well, we gradually got better and we also had great determination to do some contribution for our team," Yu told reporters after the win.

Japan and South Korea go head-to-head later Saturday with the winners playing China in the finals on Sunday.

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