Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon are favorites in BWF Finals

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Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon eye the BWF World Tour title. (photo: AFP)
Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon eye the BWF World Tour title. (photo: AFP)

Jakarta: Indonesian World No. 1 men’s doubles badminton pair – Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon are Indonesia’s main hopes to win the 2018 BWF World Tour Finals, which will kick off in Guangzhou, China, from Dec 12 to Dec 16.

The 2018 has been a strong year for Kevin and Marcus as they were able to maintain their sizzling form throughout the year by winning total of nine titles.

Kevin/Marcus who aimed at defending the year end title, has been going through intensive training under the guidance of legendary men’s doubles coach Herry Faith Pierngadi in the last two weeks.

“Their preparation is pretty much the same. The most important thing is trying to avoid any injuries. While Marcus focuses on improving the quality of his defense,” said Herry.

“We have seen a lot of improvements in terms of their defense,” added Herry.

At the 2018 French Open and China Open, the World No. 1 pair a.k.a “The Minions” lost to a young pair from China – Han Chengkai/Zhou Haodong in both tournaments consecutively. Herry has been looking into these two losses and trying to improve the skills of Kevin/Marcus.

“There were a lot of factors that led to their defeats to the Chinese pair. First, the service judge had made several questionable calls at the China Open, which really disturbed their concentration. We have discussed this, they know what should be done if something like this happens again. I think we have a solution for this.”

“The second factor is a non-technical one. Han/Zhou are young players; their rankings are far below Kevin/Marcus. They were playing like nothing to lose and of course were able to pull off the surprises,” said the coach who has been with PBSI since the 1990s.

Meanwhile, Herry was happy that former men’s doubles champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan were able to make the cut for the BWF World Tour Finals.

“I really wanted two pairs to qualify for the BWF World Tour Finals because which was the maximum allowed for each country in each category. I was hoping Fajar (Alfian) / Rian (Muhammad Rian Ardianto), but the fact that Ahsan/Hendra could make it was just beyond my expectation,” said Herry.

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