Indonesian mixed doubles pair Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti are going one step further than last year at the Yonex All England Badminton Championships 2020.
Last year they lost in the semi-final to Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong of China in three games. This year, they defeated the English pair Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith in a thrilling semi-final match. They won in three games 21-15, 21-23, 21-11.
The English pair managed to squeeze out a rubber by saving 3 match points from 17-20 in the second game.
The match also provided some drama for the spectators.
Praveen Jordan was given a yellow card by umpire Henrik Boas Olsen from Denmark for ‘delaying’ the game.
It all started at 13-12 in the first game when Praveen was serving to Lauren Smith.
Smith was ready to receive the serve from Praveen. She pulled away from her receiving position when Praveen did not deliver the serve as quickly as she wanted him to.
Praveen seemed bemused at the situation.
When Praveen was serving again at 14-12, Marcus Ellis approached the umpire to complain against Praveen. The English pair clearly felt that Praveen was taking too much time to serve.
However, the Danish umpire was firm and dismissed Ellis by saying, “I will take care of that. Please play.”
At 19-14, Praveen was serving to Lauren Smith again.
Smith got ready to receive the serve but turned away repeatedly because she felt Praveen wasn’t delivering the service quickly enough.
A visibly irritated Marcus Ellis approached the umpire again. This time the umpire was stern and told Ellis, “Stay away (from the net).”
This is when the umpire called Praveen and said, “I want you to speed up, you are delaying the game.”
Then Praveen Jordan delivered a serve without waiting for Lauren Smith to get ready. The umpire had finally had enough and gave him a yellow card.
Commentator Steen Pedersen said, “He was actually just doing what the umpire told him to do. And it was Lauren Smith who was not ready.” Co-commentator Gillian Clark agreed by saying it was a bit harsh.
In the end, the Indonesian pair edged out the English pair 21-15, 21-23, 21-11 in the match that lasted 78 minutes.
In the final, Praveen and Melati will face third seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand, whom they defeated in the quarter-final of the All England last year.
Out of the four players in the final, only Praveen Jordan has won an All England title, back in 2016 with his former partner Debby Susanto.