Hendra Setiawan may have just played one match at the TotalEnergies BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2022, but his importance to Team Indonesia as captain cannot be underestimated.
Anthony Sinisuka Ginting revealed the 37-year-old doubles legend has been instrumental in keeping him motivated through a recent form slump, which includes three group stage defeats in Thailand as his country’s opening singles player.
“When I’m not able to contribute a point for the team I apologise to him but he only tells me to work harder and not give up until my form is back,” said Ginting after finally picking up his first win in Bangkok yesterday.
“He understands it’s not easy to deal with form loss and his words of encouragement have helped keep my motivation high.”
Ginting dipped following his bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, exiting six of his next nine tournaments in the early rounds and has only one semifinal outing – at Swiss Open 2022 – to show for his efforts.
Against Zhao Jun Peng in the quarterfinals against China however, Ginting looked more assured – albeit in patches – than he was in his group matches to win 21-12 25-27 21-17 and put Indonesia 1-0 ahead. The defending champions went on to take the tie 3-0 to set up a semifinal clash with Japan.
“I just tried to enjoy myself and not treat it like a knockout match. I’ve played at a few Thomas Cups and the experience helped me find solutions on court,” said the 26-year-old world No.5.
“I will continue to work to return to my top form because I can feel my performances getting better each day. My coach also tells me this and encourages me to keep trying to get my rhythm back.”
And while he works his way back, in Setiawan, Ginting has an experienced shoulder to lean on.