Jakarta: In the first round of Indonesia Open, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif of Malaysia put up a brilliant all-around performance to upset Japan’s Thomas Cup hero, world number 11th Kento Momota 21-19, 21-13 in 34 minutes. His victory makes me wonder had Malaysia decided to bring Arif to New Delhi, and played him in the Thomas Cup final against Momota, Malaysia would have already brought back the Thomas Cup. Oh well, I guess there is no “if” in reality.
Arif will play third seed Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark in the second round of Indonesia Open. Jorgensen defeated Takuma Ueda 21-18 21-14 in the first round. Ueda clinched the winning point for Japan in last month’s Thomas Cup final.
“Momota forced me to play some long rallies today. Fortunately, there was no pressure on me as I was able to counter attack some of his shots really well,” said Arid.
Arif said he will continue the same tactics when play against Jorgensen tomorrow. “I lost to Jorgensen in the 2011 Denmark Open, but that didn’t bother me at all.”
Arif left BAM in July 2013. In 2007, Arif defeated Chen Long of China en route to leading Malaysia’s to the team title at the Asian Junior Championships but in the final of the individual event, he lost to Chen Long. He went down fighting to Kenichi Tago of Japan in the quarter-finals of the 2007 World Junior Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
He is currently trained by Nova Armada from Indonesia at One Badminton Academy in Kuala Lumpur.