Arif’s worry over Roy King turns into joy after reaching final


PETALING JAYA: Doubles shuttler Wan Arif Wan Junaidi’s only concern at the Spain Masters was his partner Yap Roy King condition but he was glad that they superseded their own target in Madrid.

It was a pleasant surprise for Arif and Roy King as they upstaged Christo Popov-Thoma Junior Popov of France 21-17, 21-17 in the semi-finals on Saturday.

They face Sabar Karyaman-Moh Reza Pahlevi in the final.

Arif-Roy King were rusty in the Swiss Open last week, where they lost in the second round to compatriots Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun, but they have been growing from strength to strength.

Arif said while Roy King underwent treatment and rehabilitation for his left knee, he was forced to train individually the last three months and it was a difficult period for the Kemaman-born player.

“We were only targeting to reach the quarter-finals because I didn’t want Roy King to over-exert himself and get injured again but in the end, we were able to make it to the final,” said Arif.

“We are happy and excited to reach the final because I had to train individually for the last few months with different partners and it was tough.

“Out combination wasn’t good for a start as we were rusty in the Swiss Open but we got back our momentum here.”

It was their second final appearance on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) circuit since partnering each other in March last year.

Arif-Roy King had captured the Nantes International Challenge in France last year.

However, that was to be their only final appearance as they could not rise to the occasion in seven tournaments after that.

RESULTS

Semi-finals

Men’s singles: Toma Junior Popov (Fra) bt Chou Tien-chen(Tpe) 21-15,20-22,21-18; Loh Kean Yew (Sin) bt Wang Tzu-wei (Tpe) 21-13,8-21,21-15

Men’s doubles: Wan Arif Wan Junaidi-Yap Roy King bt Christo Popov-Thoma Junior Popov (Fra) 21-17,21-17; Sabar Karyaman-Moh Reza Pahlevi (Ina) bt William Kryger Boe-Christian Faust Kjaer (Den) 21-15,16-21, 21-15.

Women’s singles: Supanida Katethong(Tha) bt Kim Ga-eun (Kor) 22-20,21-12; Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt Komang Ayu (Ina) 21-12, 20-22,21-13.

Women’s doubles: Rin Iwanaga-Kie Nakanishi (Jpn) bt Chang Ching-hui-YangChing-tun (Tpe) 21-11,21-9; Febriana Dwipuji-Amallia Cahaya (Ina) bt Lee Chia-hsin-Teng Chun-hsun (Tpe) 21-12,21-7.

Mixed doubles: ChengXing-Zhang Chi (Chn) bt Thomas Gicquel-Delphine Delrue (Fra) 10-21,21-19,21-19;Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Hanigtyas (Ina) bt Sumeeth Reddy-Sikki Reddy (Ind) 21-17,21-12.

Finals

Men’s singles: Loh Kean Yew (Sin) bt Toma Junior Popov(Fra) 21-11,15-21,22-20.

Women’s singles: Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt Supanida Katethong (Tha) 21-12,21-9.

Women’s doubles: RinIwanaga-KieNakanishi (Jpn) bt Febriana Dwipuji-Amallia Cahaya (Ina) 12-21,21-8,21-16.

Mixed doubles: Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Hanigtyas (Ina) bt Cheng Xing-Zhang Chi (Chn)17-21, 21-12,21-13.

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