All England 2022 champions Bagas Maulana/Muhammad Shohibul Fikri penetrated the last 16 of the Japan Open 2022 with difficulty. In today’s first round (30/8), Bagas/Fikri successfully defeated the Malaysian pair Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin.
In the match at the Maruzen Intec Arena, Osaka, Bagas/Fikri escaped intense pressure to win the rubber game with a score of 21-17, 18-21, and 21-19
In the first game , Bagas/Fikri fell behind 6-11 at the interval. But they were able to turn things around and take the first game with a score of 21-17.
“Today we played hard because our mission was to rise. We don’t want to be at the bottom, we want to prove we can. Never give up ,” said Bagas quoted from the PP PBSI press release.
“In the first game , we came back by reducing our own mistakes. Not a lot of wasted points in favor of the opponent,” he added.
At the beginning of the second game , Bagas/Fikri were left 4-10 and 6-11 behind. However, they were able to catch up and reverse the position with a score of 18-15. But alas, they were caught off guard. This made Bagas/Fikri fail to win in a straight game.
“In the second game , the final points we missed and lost focus. While the opponent’s serve is very good. We have difficulty anticipating it,” said Fikri.
In the third game , Bagas/Fikri competed solidly. They are far ahead in position 12-4. However, after changing places, Goh/Nur suddenly got up and continued to chase. They took advantage of the flood of errors from Bagas/Fikri, were able to corner, and turned ahead with a score of 18-16.
Fortunately, in a depressed situation, Bagas/Fikri were able to rise and win the match with a score of 21-19.
“In the third game , their serve was quite difficult for us. Short or long service. We were tense when we were chased. I tried to keep shouting on the field to release the pressure and the tension,” said Bagas.
“The key to our victory today was to play more focused, not to hesitate but to remain calm and patient. The coach also instructed him to hold the ball in front of him so I could give a pass to my partner. From there, we got a lot of points,” Fikri added.
Since becoming the All England 2022 champion, Bagas/Fikri has experienced a significant decline in performance. They lost in the first round in five tournaments.
In fact, at the 2022 World Championships last week, Bagas/Fikri had run aground in the inaugural match, aka the second round, against the Scottish doubles Alexander Dunn/Adam Hall. Bagas/Fikri lost in the rubber game with a score of 17-21, 21-19, and 21-15.