INDONESIA IN FINAL 

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By FROM SANJAY SHARMA
  • Published 19.05.00
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Kuala Lumpur, May 19 :     Defending champions Indonesia moved into final of the Thomas Cup with a 3-2 win over Denmark today, after Marleve Mainaky won the tense deciding singles 15-14, 15-13 over Kenneth Jonassen. The first singles of the second today's second semi-finals was a remarkable match, won by world No. 1 Peter Gade Christensen in a marathon 89 minutes. He beat world No. 2 Hendrawan 12-15, 17-16, 15-11. The diminutive Indonesian played with a do-or-die attitude, but in the end it was not enough. He simply ran out of steam when it mattered. Christensen faced match point in the second game when Hendrawan closed a 10-13 deficit to equalise and then serve for the match at 14-13, but the implacable Dane took the game 17-16. He led throughout in the third, had a few hiccups at 13-8 and 14-9 when he lost three match points, but never let up on the pressure and won 15-11 to give his team a 1-0 lead. Indonesia then won the first doubles with ease. Rexy Mainaky, partnering Tony Gunawan agve Indonesia a 15-7, 15-3 win over Martin Lundgaard and Lars Paaske in 27 minutes. In the second singles between 35-year-old Paul Erik Hoyer Larsen and 19-year-old Taufique Hidayat, the latter played with a maturity beyond his years to score a 15-11, 15-9 victory and give his country a 2-1 lead. Chandra Wijaya and Sigit Budiarto teamed for the second doubles after a gap of 18 months - Sigit had tested positive for doping at the Singapore Open and was banned for a year Jesper Larsen and Jens Eriksen never had a chance to counter their blistering pace as the former world No. 1 pair broke through the Danish resistance to win the first game 15-8. In the second, the Danes came back from a 4-9 deficit to level at 10-all. They faced match point at 12-14, but fought back again to win 17-15. The third was a real nail-biter, as Sigit and Chandra, down 1-7 and 4-11 closed the gap to lead at 12-11, 14-13 and 16-15. But they couldn't convert four match points, the Danes finally winning 17-16 to level the tie at 2-all.