Live from Hyd: Sony survives Boonsak challenge Dev S Sukumar/ badmintonmania.com Hyderabad, 9 September 2005: Olympic bronze medallist Sony Dwi Kuncoro won his first big battle of the ABC championships after a bruising, 80 minute encounter with Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana in the quarterfinal on Friday. Others to reach the men's semifinals were Ng Wei, Lee Hyun Il and Kuan Beng Hong. Women's world no.17 Cheng Shao Chieh created the biggest upset in the singles, beating Kanako Yonekura of Japan after a tense three-game struggle. There were no other upsets in the women's singles, with top seed Wang Chen, Kaori Mori and Eriko Hirose all booking their places in the last four. Meanwhile, Indonesia had further cause to rejoice, with two of their women's doubles pairs making it to the semis. Jo Novita and Greysia Poli played wonderful badminton to upset world no.6 pair Saralee Thoungthongkam and Satinee Jankrajangwong in straight games. After that smart achievement, they sat by the court checking messages on their mobile phones, seeming almost oblivious to the magnitude of their achievement. "We formed this partnership just three tournaments ago, and our best showing was a semifinal place at the Indonesian Open," said Poli. Indonesian coach Atik Jauhari was delighted with his young team's performance. Their compatriots Lita Nurlita and Natalia Poluakan came through after a tough three-game win over Matsuda Tomomi and Akao Aki of Japan. Sony was erratic and brilliant by turns. Boonsak dominated the net early in the match, catching Sony time and again with his tight dribbles. The Indonesian countered Boonsak's languid style with a blistering attack, but some spectacular winners were negated by terrible errors. The serve changed ends several times at 11-all, until Boonsak went ahead when Sony smashed into the net. The Thai earned game point after winning a net exchange, and clinched the game with a drive to a Sony smash. The momentum completely swung the Indonesian's way after the break, thanks perhaps to coach Joko Suprianto. His smashes more accurate, his leaping interceptions breaking the elegant Thai's rhythm, Sony raced to a 7-3 lead with some big jump smashes that punched holes in Boonsak's backhand court, Boonsak could manage only one more point as the Indonesian easily took the second game at 15-4. It was clear by the final game that both men were exhausted. Sony seemed to have recovered his touch at the net, and despite wayward smashes, went up 9-3. It looked like Boonsak had given up, but the Thai staged a comeback thanks to three consecutive errors by the Indonesian. Sony broke with a beautiful piece of deception -- he faked a smash and dropped it in front of the net, leaving Boonsak flat-footed in the middle. Still, the Thai egged himself on, and levelled at 9. Sony edged ahead 11-9, serve changed ends a few times, and then the Indonesian got the critical point when Boonsak netted a return. Sony went ahead at 13-10, Boonsak narrowed the deficit by one point, but again the Indonesian found his big smashes on target and fittingly closed with a jump smash. Results: MS: Ng Wei bt Sairul Amar 15-10, 15-5; Sony Kuncoro bt Boonsak Ponsana 11-15, 15-4, 15-11; Lee Hyun Il bt Arvind Bhat 17-16, 15-5; Kuan Beng Hong bt Chetan Anand 10-15, 15-7, 15-2. WS: Wang Chen bt Hirayama 11-7, 11-3; Cheng Shao Chieh bt Yonekura 1-11, 11-8, 11-6; Kaori Mori bt Adriyanti Firdasari 11-3, 7-11, 11-4; Eriko Hirose bt Wong Mew Choo 11-8, 11-6.