Australian Open: Mapasa/Yu Smash 14-Year Curse

Hosts Australia will have semifinal representation at their event tomorrow for the first time since 2010.

It’s thanks to the valiant efforts of Setyana Mapasa and Angela Yu, who played arguably their best match in a while to beat Sung Shuo Yun/Yu Chien Hui 20-22 21-15 21-18 and punch their last four ticket at the Quaycentre.

Mapasa/Yu also ended Australia’s 15-year wait in women’s doubles by emulating Huang Chia-Chi/He Tian Tang, the eventual 2009 runners-up. The following year was the last the local fans witnessed their players in the semifinals – Huang in women’s singles, Saliya Gunaratne/Chad Whitehead in men’s doubles and He and Ben McCarthy in mixed doubles.

“Feels like a dream. When we won that last point, everything inside was just shaking. It’s good to be in the semis,” exclaimed Yu, whose child-like giggles gave away the joy she was feeling inside after making it a memorable day for Australian badminton.

The importance of the feat was also not lost on Mapasa, a veteran of four Australian Opens.

“This is an extraordinary achievement, considering we’ve only been together a year. I’m over the moon we could work as a team (to make this happen),” said the Tokyo 2020 Olympian.

“We stuck together; me, Angela and our coach. We never really accepted the match was over. That was the key, and the fans really helped us.”

Mapasa used her experience to guide the younger Yu.

Expanding on the crowd’s influence, Yu said: “Felt like we weren’t there alone, with our family, with the whole country supporting us. It was really nice. Them cheering us on definitely helped a lot when we were making mistakes.”

The big results are coming at the right time for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games-bound world No.27s. Just three weeks ago, they made their first Super 500 quarterfinal at the Malaysia Masters.

“Delighted to see us improve on our result in Kuala Lumpur. It’s a big confidence booster (with Paris six weeks away) but hopefully tomorrow we can go one step further.”

To make that step, Mapasa/Yu will need to overcome second seeds Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma/Amallia Cahaya Pratiwi, against whom they aced their only meeting in the Swiss Open Round of 16 in March.

Results (Quarterfinals)

Order of play (Semifinals)

Match point clinched.


“I was just telling my partner we always lose early at Super 500s and now we are in the semis. This is a good start.” – Yeung Nga Ting after she and Yeung Pui Lam made their first semifinal at this level

“We used to train together and I’m quite pleased to see how much they’ve improved. Our experience was the difference in the end but I can see them getting better with exposure.” – Tan Kian Meng reserving praise for Choong Hon Jian/Go Pei Kee

“I’m grateful to my seniors because they taught me a lot. I appreciate their support and knowledge.” – Lee Chia Hao on beating Chou Tien Chen a few weeks after seeing off Wang Tzu Wei in Thailand

“Last year, the Olympic qualifying just started so I was tense. This time I’m more relaxed, so hopefully the outcome will be better.” – Aya Ohori on improving on her semifinal loss at the 2023 edition

Yeung and her partner have qualified for the Paris Olympics.

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