SUDIRMAN CUP Day 3 – Jason Ho-Shue interviews Tien Minh

Former men’s singles top 5 player Nguyen Tien Minh isn’t the only squad member Vietnam can rely on in Group 2 of the 2017 Sudirman Cup. By Aaron Wong, Badzine […]

Former men’s singles top 5 player Nguyen Tien Minh isn’t the only squad member Vietnam can rely on in Group 2 of the 2017 .

By Aaron Wong, Badzine correspondent live in Gold Coast.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The quiet achiever

After his quietly stolid and redoubtable performances against New Zealand, it was no surprise that Do Tuan Doc steered the ship to safe harbours in mixed and men’s doubles against Canada.  Once more, Pham Hong Nam benefited the most from Do’s calm composure and guidance.

Philippe Gaumond / Maxime Marin were the Vietnamese pair’s first conquest of the tournament, and the Asian team took it 21-18, 21-18.  Only a doubles player of rare exception like Do can remain unperturbed through stretches of wild shot selection, intermittent focus, and faltering by his accomplice, as to become affected definitely and swiftly causes the downfall of a duo.

Do Tuan Duc’s second distinction is that he leaves plenty of room for both partners to be themselves and hence develop optimally.  Whenever required, his mixed partner Pham Nhu Thao (pictured above) trusted enough to try and fail while using the right shot and be able to re-calibrate her muscle memory rather than hesitate, lose the point, and retain cold timing.  In Brittney Tam / Nyl Yakura, they contributed to one of the five straight-game defeats suffered by Canada’s majority reshuffled line up.

#187? You must kidding!

Jason Ho-Shue (pictured right) performed well above his current highest world ranking of #187 to lead at the first interval and for most of the game until a little inexperience crept in.

“Today the Canadian played very well.  Maybe he knows my style ahead so he attack-attack-attack and I wasn’t ready for it so early on”, commended Nguyen Tien Minh (pictured below) as he toweled down after eking out a 21-19, 21-11 victory in men’s singles.

Things became interesting once Jason Ho-Shue became accustomed to Nguyen’s tempo.  And then the younger man unleashed an effective array of strokes not hinted at in the encounter with Scotland on Sunday.  Even though Nguyen is renowned as a runner type player who frequently clears shuttles, he was pinned between the deep singles service lines and temporarily made to look one dimensional.

Ho-Shue was posing questions of the former world top 10 Vietnamese player.  What other shots do you have?  How are you going to get out of this?  Unfortunately, the game slipped from his grasp after he committed an understandably excitable and youthful folly of driving a full length rear to rear cross-court offensive shot and then over-anticipating, therefore shifting his momentum forward, before his opponent had reacted in its final rally. Conversely, his opponent had stayed balanced and returned the shot with interest and out of reach.

Throughout the tense first game finale, Nguyen kept up without accelerating.  In capturing game 1, he was non-verbally enquiring of Ho-Shue how much petrol and concentration was left in the tank.  The answer was in the 2nd game chasm of 10 points at its widest.

The match illustrated precisely how a young man should play singles as well as the maturity that has to have accumulated for a 34-year-old who desires to continue competing internationally.  Restated, it was how one gains wisdom and evidence of having gained it.

In this one match there were intriguing calculations being made by players on both sides which was missing on the adjacent court where Malaysia dismissed Germany using world top 10 representatives in three disciplines in succession.  The Malaysians closed out their 5-0 blanking of the Europeans when former top 10 pair Vivian Hoo / Woon Khe Wei (pictured bottom) took their match in straight games.

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Aaron Wong

About Aaron Wong

Aaron Wong only ever coveted badminton's coolest shot - a reverse backhand clear. He is renowned for two other things: 1) Writing tournament previews that adjust the focus between the panorama of the sport's progress, down to the microscopic level of explaining the striking characteristics of players; 2) Dozing off during men's doubles at the London Olympic Games. Contact him at: aaron @