Aarhus: After losing to Viktor Axelsen in a straight game on Saturday, Indonesia’s World No. 5 men’s singles player, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting met with World No. 27 Lu Guang Zu of China instead of the World No. 10 Shi Yu Qi in the first men’s singles match of the 2020 Thomas Cup final, in Aarhus, Denmark on Sunday.
Despite a huge gap in the world rankings, Lu was using his accurate placement of the shuttlecock into difficult corners of the court to beat Ginting 21-18 in the first game.
Ginting started to find his rhythm in the second. After 1-1, 2-2, and 3-3, the Indonesian player didn’t waste time to force the decider by taking the second game 21-14.
In the decider, Ginting continued to dictate the pace and finally sealed the victory with 21-16 points and gave Indonesia a 1-0 advantage over China.
“Thank God I was able to win. Honestly, I was nervous in the first game and of course, there was always pressure,” said Ginting after the match.
“I started to control the game in the second and third game, and I was confident that I could play well and I could win the game,” added Ginting.
Ginting said he was not surprised by the change in the Chinese line-up as he has prepared all the strategies before the game.
“So I’m not surprised when I meet Lu not Shi in this opening match,” explained Ginting.
In the first men’s doubles match that followed, Indonesia didn’t field the World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, instead, it sent World No. 7 Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto to take on scratch pair from China – He Ji Ting/Zhou Hao Dong.
The World No. 7 Indonesian pair didn’t disappoint, running away quickly with a 21-12 in the first game.
The dynamic changed a little bit in the early part of the second game when He Ji Ting/Zhou Hao Dong was leading since the start. The score was tied for 10-times since 7-7. Alfian/Ardianto started to unleash their relentless attacks after 16-16 to seal the second game 21-19 and to secure the second point for the 13th-time winners.
In the second men’s singles match, World No. 7 Jonatan Christie came out all guns blazing to overcome World No. 65 Li Shi Feng 21-14 in the first game.
However, in the second game, Christie quickly trailed 2-11. Even though the Indonesian tried to narrow the gap at 18-19, but that’s not enough to stop Li from winning the second game 21-18.
Li Shi Feng issued a tough challenge to Christie to start the decider, the score was tied 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, and after 13-13, Christie increased his tempo and aggression to reel off 7 consecutive points to lead at 20-13 before clinching the match point and also the winning point for Indonesia through a smash at Li’s right side.
Indonesia ended a 19-year wait with Christie’s victory. That was a fantastic achievement for the Indonesians by reclaiming the prestigious men’s team championships and the Indonesian fans will surely be proud of their team.