Marcus/Kevin & Ahsan/Hendra make Indonesia top favorites in 2018 Thomas Cup

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Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan will be the top men's doubles pair to watch out for in 2018. (photo: AP)
Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan will be the top men's doubles pair to watch out for in 2018. (photo: AP)

Jakarta: Thomas Cup has been held 29 times but only five countries have won the title since 1949, including Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Japan, and Denmark. Among all the winners, Indonesia have won more Thomas Cup than any other countries, with an amassing 13 wins; China follows in second with 9 wins, Malaysia with 5 wins, while Japan and Denmark have picked up one title each at the most prestigious biennial men’s badminton team event in the World.

The 2018 Thomas & Uber Cup will be the 30th edition of the Thomas Cup and the 27th edition of the Uber Cup and they will be hosted by Bangkok, Thailand from 20th to 27th of May.

For the Indonesian team, with the way the World No. 1 pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo has been playing by winning 7 Super Series tournaments in 2017, which was a Badminton World Federation (BWF) record, they are a virtual guaranteed point for the Indonesia team in the 2018 Thomas Cup.

Besides Marcus/Kevin, Indonesia’s men’s doubles coach Herry Iman Pierngadi had also proposed to reunite former World No. 1 and two-time World Champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan.

Hendra told reporter that he is ready to join should his country needs his service for the Thomas Cup team.

“As long as I am still trusted by the coach, I am ready to return to the national team, given that the Thomas Cup team will start the preparation in January,” said Hendra to the Indonesian media.

“I am ready to rejoin with Ahsan. My goal when pairing with Ahsan is to regain our World No. 1 ranking in men’s doubles,” said the 2008 Olympic champion.

Hendra also explained that Indonesia actually has a lot of great men’s doubles players, but claiming they lacked stability in their game.

“I think Indonesia has a lot of good men’s doubles players, it’s just that they’re not stable enough, except for Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon,” added Hendra Setiawan.

Hendra Setiawan quit the Indonesia national team at the end of 2016. He had been paired with Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia in 2017, and their best result was reaching the final of Australian Open but were defeated by No. 3 seed Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda.

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