Jakarta: The world number 28, Simon Santoso hoped being in the unusual position of underdog would help him wins the Indonesia Open.
“My fitness levels and mental game are in good shape, and I am hoping for a good showing in the Indonesia Open,” said Simon.
Simon, who was crowned the Indonesia Open in 2012 after defeating Du Pengyu of China, has been battling with injuries in the last few years. He was able to fight his way back, by clinching the men’s singles’ title in the Singapore Open this year by defeating world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the final.
Simon was among 16 new recruits summoned by Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) to replace 13 removed players including Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka, Aprilia Yuswandari and Maria Febe Kusumastuti. Men’s singles coach Joko Suprianto has also been removed.
However, Simon refused to comment on the issue, saying the PBSI had yet to officially inform him.
Meanwhile, women’s singles player Bellaetrix Manuputty must carry the expectation of reaching at least the quarterfinals of the Indonesia Open tournament.
“Bella is the only player who has that chance,” said her coach Marlev Mainaky.
Bellaetrix faces a tough challenge in her opening match, against Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand in the first round.
Marlev said should Bellaetrix beat Ongbumrungpan, she would have a smooth path to the quarterfinals. He predicted Bellaetrix would meet Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying, a player whom she defeated in the Malaysia Open in January.