All three of Indonesia’s singles players finally hit form as they took the team to the top of Group A at the TotalEnergies BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020. Indonesia and Thailand made it to the knockout rounds from the ‘Group of Death’, ahead of Chinese Taipei and Algeria.
The possibility of a three-way tie for the two places in the group hung in the air before the Indonesia-Chinese Taipei clash, with the necessity of a countback in case Chinese Taipei won.
Indonesia’s men’s singles players, particularly Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Jonatan Christie, have looked vulnerable in recent weeks, but today they put up their most impressive performance yet. Ginting started things off with a straight-games win over Chou Tien Chen.
Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto had a 3-0 record over Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin and were pressed ahead of Gideon/Sukamuljo and Ahsan/Setiawan in the second match. All three of those wins had come in 2019 before the Olympic Games; Lee/Wang have since then become a more complete pair, and the Olympic champions, despite struggling with form, pulled away in the third game.
Jonatan Christie has had a disappointing 2021 for the most part; at the Sudirman Cup he lost his only match to Kunlavut Vitidsarn, who again beat him this week.
The Indonesian finally stepped up with his most authoritative performance in many months, as he shut out Wang Tzu Wei in 50 minutes, 21-17 21-13, to assure his team of a quarterfinals place.
“It was important for my confidence, because we didn’t know before my match if we were through to the quarterfinals or not. In the first game both of us were very nervous. But I feel much better, and I feel my confidence is back. I hope in the next match I can play like I did today. The important thing was the right attitude and motivation and how to keep going,” said Christie.
Indonesia’s second doubles was the scratch combination of ‘Daddy’ Mohammad Ahsan with ‘Baby’ Daniel Marthin, and the new pair was involved in an entertaining battle with Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han, with the Chinese Taipei duo clinching their match 23-21 in the third.
Shesar Hiren Rhustavito had taken Indonesia past Thailand in the fifth match on Monday, and the 27-year-old did it again today. Despite knowing that his team had already qualified to the quarterfinals, the Indonesian never let his guard down against Chi Yu Jen; the result was another absorbing match, which went Rhustavito’s way 16-21 21-18 21-19.
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