INDONESIA OPEN 2013 Day 3 – Goodbye, Taufik

Taufik Hidayat’s career as a professional athlete came to an end in the first round of his last tournament with his loss to qualifier Sai Praneeth B of India. By […]

Taufik Hidayat’s career as a professional athlete came to an end in the first round of his last tournament with his loss to qualifier Sai Praneeth B of India.

By Mathilde Liliana Perada, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Taufik Hidayat played strongly in the first game of his last match as an international player but in the end, it was India’s Sai Praneeth B who would go on to face Lee Chong Wei in the second round of the Djarum Premier.

It was a melancholy moment at the press conference following Taufik’s match, when he gave thanks to all badminton lovers all over the world for supporting him in his entire life as a shuttler.

“Don’t look at just the match today, but go back to the other matches, too.  Look back at my victories, my defeats, the process,” said Taufik.

Taufik said he was disappointed with the result, but that the hardest thing he felt at the time was that he would be leaving badminton. Winning or losing is normal in a game but leaving badminton turned out to be the hardest part for the 2004 Olympic gold medallist.

However, Taufik is not actually leaving badminton.  He confirmed that he will come back to badminton in another way but not as a professional athlete any more. He is still unsure about coaching, though.

“Just because you can be a great athlete, it doesn’t mean you can be a great coach too,” added Taufik.

Dismal Day 3 for Denmark

This is maybe the worst Superseries tournament for Denmark because there is only one pair going on to the second round of the Djarum Indonesia Open. Had it not been for the win on Tuesday by Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen against the Hong Kong mixed pair, Denmark would have been left with no representatives, as they finished Wednesday 0 for 7.

The first disappointment came from the men’s doubles, where the first match of the day saw Rasmus Bonde / Mads Conrad-Petersen lose to England’s Chris Langridge / Peter Mills, who stand one rung below the Danes in the world rankings. A far more suprising result was to come, however, when their number one men’s doubles faced off against another in-form European pair.

Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen were taken down by Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov / Ivan Sozonov in two games. The Russians, who are coming off a runner-up finish at the Thailand Open last weekend, had never before beaten the Olympic silver medallists, who were also runners-up here in Jakarta last year.

Ivanov said that they were very happy to win the game, especially to win over the #1 seeds. “We just played like we are used to. I don’t think the Denmark pair was in good form today,” said Ivanov.

In men’s singles as well, Danish #1 Jan O Jorgensen had to pack it in early. The world’s number 8 couldn’t stop Japan’s  Kazumasa Sakai from pushing through to the second round. Sakai played well in the first game and although he trailed at the beginning of second, he came back with more spirit and took the match 21-16, 21-19.

Viktor Axelsen, had to end his game against Boonsak Ponsana from Thailand early because of injury and Hans-Kristian Vittinghus struggled through to finish his match but still ceded victory to Sourabh Varma of India.

Late in the day, yet another highly-seeded pair from Denmark suffered an upset, once again at the hands of a Thailand Open finalist. Christinna Pedersen / Kamila Rytter Juhl lost to home favourite, Greysia Polii / Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, who were already on a high from winning in Bangkok on Sunday and were on fire with the full home crowd support.

“The Indonesian fans were so amazing. They give us more confidence and power on the court,” said Nitya.

More drama and surprises for Wangs and Chens

Lee Chong Wei came in as the number 1 seed but had another tough match against Wang Zhengming.  The Chinese shuttler played well and came so close to joining compatriots Du Pengyu and Tian Houwei, who have each recorded their first win over the world #1 in the past year.

However, fortune was again with Kingston’s father. Lee led almost throughout the first game but Wang Zhengming came back to win after the first deuce. The Malaysian then left Wang with almost no chance for a point in the second game, winning 21-4.

Lee let Wang build a big lead in the deciding game but he tied it at 16 and, after allowing Wang Zhengming to get to match point first, Lee finally clinched the win in extra points.

Indonesia’s own Tommy Sugiarto posted an amazing win, sending China’s top men’s singles player Chen Long home after just one match. Tommy said that he had learned from the mistakes he made at the Sudirman Cup last month, where he was beaten twice by Chen Long. He claimed that the key to his win on Wednesday was reduction of his unforced errors and his desire to give his best for the home fans.

Click here for complete Wednesday results

Mathilde Liliana Perada

About Mathilde Liliana Perada

Mathilde has been a Badzine Correspondent since 2013. She is currently living in Jakarta and is working for a financial advisory firm. She also spends her time writing about badminton and helps local badminton communities to organize events related to badminton.