AS a junior shuttler, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen used to watch in awe the captivating moves of Indonesian Taufik Hidayat on the court.
So, how did it feel to actually beat his idol for the first time – in the first round of the Malaysian Open – on Wednesday?
“It was an amazing feeling,” said the 22-year-old Dane, who won 7-21, 21-19, 21-17.
The win has given him a huge dose of confidence as he seeks to reach greater heights this year.
Taufik is just one of the many big names to have fallen to Jorgensen over the last year. His other big scalps included that of his more illustrious compatriot Peter-Gade Christensen, China’s Chen Jin and Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei.
“Peter and Taufik are my idols. I like Taufik’s style of play and I always makes it a point to watch his game. It was quite fun to beat him here. It was amazing,” said Jorgensen.
The transition from being a talented junior to the senior level, however, was not an easy one for the Dane.
But, like he said, he had the self-belief to make it happen.
“There have been small breakthroughs before the World Champion-ships last year. I defeated Chen Jin at the Singapore Open. That got me thinking that I had a chance to make it happen,” said Jorgensen.
“Then, I reached the quarter-finals of the world meet. I lost to Taufik but it was a close affair. All these were good things for me. I began to believe in myself. I believe in training ... it is so important to give that commitment (under coach Kenneth Jonasen).
“At home, I try to learn from Peter about being professional in training. He is so devoted and takes his training seriously.”
With his desire to improve, Jorgensen reached his first final in the China Open and ended the year with the Copenhagen Masters title.
“I always play in good spirit and am always fighting no matter what the situation. This explains how I could come back from a demoralising 7-21 defeat in the first game to Taufik,” said Jorgensen.
With his steady rise, Jorgensen hopes to be a new threat in the world of badminton, which has been dominated by the likes of Lin Dan, Chong Wei, Peter, Taufik, Chen Jin and Bao Chunlai for some time.
“In future, I hope to be the best from Europe to challenge the Asian shuttlers. This year, I hope to win my first Open title and give Denmark a big lift in the Thomas Cup Finals,” added Jorgensen.