Russians squander 5 match points on dismal day for Europe
Semi finals day in Finland proved to be dismal from a European perspective with not a single European player making the finals in Vantaa. Russian duo Rodion Alimov & Alina Davletova got closest and looked set to progress before squandering 5 match points before losing out to Islami & Prasetya of Indonesia.
The Russians had saved two match points against them in the second set to tie the match at 1 set a piece and the feeling was momentum was on their side. In the decider everything looked under control at 18-13 and 20-15 ahead before disaster struck.
The Indonesians stayed calm while the young Russians tied up to only win a single point in the next 8. The disappointed was etched across their faces as the Indonesians marched onto the finals winning 23-21 in a match that the young Russians will only learn from.
VIEW – All results from day 3 at Finnish Open here
The run of home boy Eetu Heino (pictured above) also came to a halt at semi finals with the Finn unable to match the pace of June Wei Cheam of Malaysia. The Malaysian romped to the opening game 21-9 but Heino fought back to at least make a game of it in the second set.
Cheam ran out an easy winner 21-15 and Heino was frank in his appraisal of the match.
-He is so deceptive, I just could not read him at all. I played Viktor Axelsen at the world championships in Glasgow last summer and that was an easier match.
-Cheam is just so deceptive and fast and I was always a step behind him.
Turkey’s Ozge Bayrak also let a potential match winning lead slip as Indonesia’s Ruselli Hartawan came back from 19-17 down in the deciding set to win 21-19.
A disappointing end to the Finnish Open for European players with 3 of tomorrow’s final being all Indonesian while Malaysia will play out the men’s singles final and only the women’s doubles will have competing countries on opposite sides of the net where Japan will play Malaysia.
VIEW – Photo gallery from today’s play in Finland here