By Wimbo Satwiko
Jakarta: Far from the spotlight, Tommy Sugiarto caused a huge upset after defeating Lin Dan of China in the first round of the BCA Indonesia Open 2015 at Gelora Bung Karno Istora in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Tommy won 19-21, 21-8, 21-16 over the world number two in an hour and 17 minutes at the $800,000 badminton tournament.
“After the draw, people saw me as an underdog when they knew I would play Lin Dan in first round. And I proved myself with this win that I can beat Lin and nobody will take me lightly,” Tommy said in the post-match press conference.
It was tight from the start and Tommy lost the first game by two points. He kept his composure in the second game and tried to bounce back.
Tommy played it cool before taking an early 4-1 advantage. He continued to control the game and cruised on to a 21-8 win.
In the decider, Tommy trumped with an 8-0 advantage. But Lin refused to give up and fought back as he cut the deficit to 16-14.
Tommy remained calm and focused. As Lin’s return was ruled out of bounds, Tommy raised his fists while the crowd cheered him on.
“I anticipated from the start whether I would win or lose, I was ready to play all-out,” Tommy said.
“I saw that Lin couldn’t keep up with my game in the second. I thought he got tired. I tried to keep my focus in third game and try not to finish the game in a hurry.”
“It’s good to beat Lin, but it’s still a long way to go. I will play tougher opponents in the second round.”
It was quite the comeback for Tommy after leaving the national team earlier this year. He said he had struggled since leaving the national training camp.
“The situation is completely different. In Cipayung [the national training camp], everything is provided [by the federation]. Now, I’m training with my club and I find it hard to get training partners,” he added.
“But I get full support from my family, especially my parents. They keep motivated me though I have to cope with limited resources. I will keep fighting for my country, Indonesia.”