The Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic gold medalists came out as the champion of Blibli Indonesia Open 2018 after beating the Malaysian pair, Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying on the final match of the tournament that ended in a landslide victory of 21-17, 21-8 within the course of 38 minutes.
“I’m happy but I’m also sad as this is the last time I will play in Indonesia Open. Happy because I can win it again and I finally tackled the 'Owi/Butet’s Curse of Istora' myth, case closed,” as stated by Liliyana after the match.
“Finally, after a few years, we finally won it, Alhamdulillah (Praise God). For sure we thank god for giving us the health, for giving us the chance to win here again. The match was certainly intense, especially there were many supporters during the match, but I have the belief and confidence to win this match as we could implement our strategy well” Tontowi said.
Prior to this year’s tournament, Tontowi/liliyana made it to the final round of Indonesia Open 2011 and 2012, where both tournaments were held in Istora. On both occasions, the pair had to admit the opponent’s quality and finished second. Subsequently, they reached their third Indonesia Open final in 2017. At that time, Tontowi/Liliyana managed to grab the title, however the tournament was not held in Istora, thus started the origin of “Curse of Istora” myth for Tontowi/Liliyana, where many believe that the pair cannot win Indonesia Open title in Istora.
“Today, although we lead the head-to-head statistics against the Malaysian pair by 9-1, I believe that anything could happen, so we began the match with a full focus, and I had this flashback during the match where I remember learning their game play through a match video of our last encounter with them, so I adjusted my game accordingly. The coach also has the same opinion after watching the video, so we adjusted our game play accordingly, thus we won the match, and certainly the Malaysian pair was also bothered by the supporters in Istora after witnessing how amazing the supporters are. I also read an article stating Goh Liu Ying’s concern of playing against the whole stadium.” Liliyana added.