THE Indonesian fans will create a din at the Istora Senayan tonight but it will be sweet music to the home side when they play against South Korea for a place in the Thomas Cup final.
Indonesia's singles star Taufik Hidayat said that the support of their passionate fans would drive them to make up for the disastrous semi-final defeat by Denmark when they last hosted the Finals in 2004.
“We cannot allow this incident to happen again. We cannot be beaten on our home ground again,” said Taufik.
Fired up: Taufik is making his Thomas Cup swansong
“I have so many good memories in the Istora. I have won many Indonesian Open titles here. But Indonesia failed to lift the Cup here in 2004. We are determined to get it right.
“Our doubles are strong. But the singles players must complement them. Sony and I have yet to play well here (in the Finals). It's time to step up the tempo.”
Taufik is the second ranked singles player behind Sony and he is likely to play against Lee Hyun-il. He holds a 3-2 record against the Korean.
“We anticipated Denmark as our semi-final opponents but will be playing against South Korea. But it does not really make a difference to us. We are ready and we will go all out to beat them,” he said.
Winning is not the only burden on the shoulders of Taufik in what will be his last outing in the Thomas Cup Finals.
“I want to make this a memorable one. But I hope to see a new generation of Indonesian players emerging after that,” he said.
“I do not want to come out of retirement to play at the next Finals because there are no other players. Sony, Simon (Santoso) and Tommy (Sugiarto) have to come to the fore. The other youngsters must also be exposed.
“It will be sad if no player comes through the system. And this is something that I hope will not happen.”
Taufik hoped that the national association (PBSI) would promise a good future for budding badminton players.
“I think, the situation is better in Malaysia. The PBSI must have good incentives for youngsters to play. Hopefully, if Indonesia win the Cup this time, there will be more interest from all parties,” he said.