They were starring at an exit at one stage of their third round match but Indonesian mixed doubles pair of Nova Widianto/Lillyana Natsir got their act together to make it into the quarterfinals of the Yonex World Championships at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium in Paris.
The top seeds had to dig deep into their reserves before overcoming Korean pair Yoo Yeon Seung/Kim Min Jung 21-17,13-21.21-19. They will take on China’s Zheng Bo/Ma Jin in the last eight tomorrow.
The Chinese pair, seeded eight, had booked their place in the quarterfinals be defeating 14th seeds Sudket Prapakamol/S. Thoungthongkam 21-19.21-15.
“It was a wake up call for us as the Korean pair played really well and we were lucky to come off the court winners,” said Lillyana.
“Their attacking play caught us off guard and in the third set it was our composure that helped us overcome them.
“As for the quarterfinals, the Chinese are a very experienced pair and we have to thread carefully. We have to improve our performance and plan the match carefully.”
Despite losing the first game, the Indian mixed doubles team of V. Diju and Jwala Gutta, came back strongly to beat Singapore’s Chayut Triyachart and Lei Yao 14-21, 21-18, 21-14 to qualify.
Quarter-finalists at the last World Cup, Diju and Gutta will now face the 12th seeds, South Korea’s Sung Hyun Ko and Jung Eun Ha for a place in the semi-finals.
The Korean pair had shocked the fifth seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark winning 21-13,13-21,21-19.
“I don’t think we were at the top of our game,” said Diju. “Too many mistakes and it’s only later that we managed to piece our game together.”
“I think a day’s gap made us complacent,” said Gutta. “But we will be ready for the Korean pair. We would do our best to clinch a semi-final spot at the World Championships.”
The Indians had only recently beaten the Korean pair in the Singapore Open Super Series 23-21, 21-16.
In the women’s singles, Denmark’s Tine Baun had to stave off a fighting Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria to register a 21-19,23-21 to move into the last eight.
But Tine, who is seeded fourth, was not too happy with her performance, saying that she lacked the confidence on the court.
“The arms and legs were willing but somehow the mind was deserting me throughout the game,” said Tine.
“To be honest I lack the self belief that I can go all the way and this is something I need to overcome.
“Hence I intend to work on regaining my focus and go out there tomorrow with renewed vigor, and work towards progressing further in the tournament.”
In the men’s singles, unseeded Kazushi Yamada was the first to book a place in the last eight when he defeated Dicky Palyama of Netherlands 14-21,21-19,21-11.