Alor Setar: Indonesia’s World No. 13 Jonathan Christie got his team off to a good start at the 2018 Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) final as he fought back from dropping a set to beat World No. 7 Shi Yuqi of China 16-21, 21-17, 21-18 to put Indonesia 1-0 up in the tie on Sunday.
“My victory over Shi Yuqi was a timely morale booster for the Indonesia team. I didn’t let pressure get to me and played patiently and scored points at several key moments to register the win,” said Christie.
In the first men’s doubles match that followed, Mohammad Ahsan and Angga Pratama displayed the strong mental and badminton skills needed to down He Jiting/Tan Qiang of China 21-19, 21-18 to give Indonesia a 2-0 advantage in the tie.
Qiao Bin, however, kept China alive in the contention after he outlasted Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-12, 11-21, 21-14.
Indonesia’s strong tradition in men’s doubles was on full display as the men’s doubles legend Hendra Setiawan together with his partner Rian Agung Saputro defeated Han Chengkai/Zhou Haodong 21-14, 21-19 to help the defending champions claim the 2018 Asia team title.
“We learned from our mistakes and we came here well prepared. This victory has strengthened our confidence for the Thomas Cup in May,” said the Indonesia coach, Herry Iman Pierngadi.
In the 2016 edition, Jonathan Christie became the hero when he defeated Kenta Nishimoto 14-21, 21-19, 21-13 to lead Indonesia to a 3-2 win over Japan.