A STRONG sisterhood bond saw Indonesian women's doubles Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Silvia Ramadhanti win their first world tour title today when they came out tops at the Super 750 Malaysia Open.
Just two months after winning their first tournament as a pair at the Hanoi Sea Games, the world No 133 came out with guns blazing to down world No 33 Zhang Shu Xian-Zheng Yu of China 21-18, 12-21, 21-19 at the Axiata Arena.
Playing in only their second world tour final as a combination, Apriyani-Siti Fadia are also the first Indonesian women's pair to win the Malaysia Open since Retno Koestijah-Minarni Soedaryanto, who were back-to-back champions in 1966-1967.
Apriyani, an Olympic gold medallist with her former partner Greysia Polii, attributed her recent success to the strong leadership and mentoring skills of Greysia.
Speaking to the press after the final, Apriyani said: "Two months before Greysia retired, I was very down, I didn't think I could do it without her. However, the lessons I learned from looking up to her, allowed me to fight on.
"Now it is my turn to hand down the knowledge to my new partner, who I see as my own sister, just like Greysia was to me.
"I feel honoured to be able to mentor Fadia now.
"We hope to keep this momentum going, and hopefully have a crack at the 2024 Paris Olympics."
Prior to her partnership with Siti Fadia, Apriyani played with Greysia for five years, winning six world tour titles from 2018, before the latter's retirement this year.
Apryani-Siti Fadia, who have confirmed their participation in this week's Malaysia Masters, will play a qualifier in the opening round.