It certainly has been a dramatic couple of months for Indonesian Badminton Lover.
The main actor behind this drama is most certainly Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
I have long hoped for Ginting along with Jonathan Jojo Christie and Ihsan Maulana Mustofa to carry the torch from Taufik Hidayat, Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Tommy Sugiarto to be our ace in Men Single sector. I wrote about their emergence in this post about Indonesian Rising stars
But it has been a long road since then. In one tournament they defeated great players, but in the next they failed. Last year Ginting finally won his first major title in Korea Open. Still, they lack the consistency.
Then, last August in Asian Games held in home soil, we all saw how Anthony Ginting and Jonatan Christie fought their way to gain medals and contribute to the glory of our nation.
In the first week, we saw the Men’s Team competition. Ginting and Jonathan competes as the first and second single of Indonesian Team. In the early stages, we know that our chance were not that high considering China and Japan came with more complete players in both mens and doubles. The boys managed to overcame India in the quarterfinal. In the semifinal against Japan, we first saw how Ginting dominated Momota in the first set of the first match. However, being a good player that he is, Momota bounced back and won the second and third set. We were behind. Thankfully, the rest of the team i.e. The Minions, Jonathan Christie and Fajar/Rian all won. Indonesia were through to the final.
Ginting was key to keep the team chances of winning against the Chinese in the final. And…he gave just that as he again dominated Shi Yuqi and secure a 21 – 14 win in the first set. But, drama soon ensues as he was already leading in the second set, but Yuqi came back and stole the game with a narrow win 23 – 22. In the third game, Ginting again had many chances to win. But, he made a lot of mistakes, and Yuqi just found his way back. When the scoreboard reach 19 – 19, Ginting suffered cramps in his leg. He asked for a medical break, but managed to carry on to get another point. But, he could barely move. He asked for another break but was denied..and must retired against Shi Yuqi. Indonesia eventually lost out to China, as Jojo lost to Chen Long, and Rian/Fajar lost to Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan. But, Ginting courageous fight won him a lot of sympathies.
Ginting bounced back in the individual competition. Two days after suffering the cramps he took Kento Momota and this time, he won comfortably. Then in the quarterfinal, he beaten Chen Long! Our hope was soaring again for him. But, another drama ensues. He was up against Chou Tien Chen in the semifinal. Obviously he was tired having to face tough opponents in the past week. But, he sailed through in the first set against Chou. Even in the second set he reached match point, but could not win the set…Chou eventually won the second and the third set. Our heart was broken for Ginting. He has beaten the big guys, but could not managed to get into the finals. Thankfully, though, his counterpart Jonathan Christie managed to win against Kenta Nishimoto and reached the final. Up against Shi Yuqi, Jojo delivered the fight of his life and secured the Gold Medal!
Still, my heart goes to Ginting. He played so well…if only he could maintain his focus, he could have win so many titles.
fresh from the Asian Games, our player went on to play in Japan Open 2018. It is a Super 750 tournament. But, Ginting must now face another top player from Denmark, Viktor Axelsen in Round 2. He lost straight set to Viktor.
But, he must have learned a lot from it as he proved himself in the following tournament.
The next tournament was China Open Super 1000. Its the highest grade tournament after the Olympic. Ginting must face top players from first round. He was up against Lin Dan. He beat him. Then, he must again faced Viktor Axelsen. This time, he won against him (some said that Viktor was not well). In the Quarter final, we faced another Olympic Medalist and World Champion, Chen Long. Yet again, he prevailed. In the semifinal, he took revans against Chou Tien Chen and beat him in three sets.
Finally, in the final today, he must played against Kento Momota. Before the match, I wish that this time, he will win. Throuhgout the tournament, he had shaky starts and lost his first sets (except against Axelsen). But, not today. He was behind, but he managed to overcame his opponent with skillful net play, accurate placing and killer smash.
He secured the first set. My hope is soaring, but still, this is Momota afterall. I still remembered how he fought his way back during the Asian Games team match so we could never count him out. He usually has his way of coming back and steal the match! Typical of Ginting, he has momentarily lost his focus in the start of the second game. He was trailing again.
But, I dont know how he managed to get his confident back. He started delivering the best that he can do. We are edging closer to the end of the match. 19 – 19. Then, Ginting started attacking. Momota has unbelievable defense, Ginting got the point! I started recording the moment in my smartphone. Somehow, I believe that Ginting can win this.
20 – 19. We could see him trying to calm his nerve. His coach Hendry Saputra muttering…Ginting made a perfect setup, beautiful net and he secured the title! Champion at last! He screamed and laid on the floor.
Indonesian Badminton Lover rejoice in Ginting’s victory. Now, we have a new hope for the Men’s Single Sector.
To me personally, there were so many things that we can learn from one Anthony Ginting. I will not talk about his skill, cause that will not apply to me. But, we can all learn from his mental attitude. He is a person who know how to overcome failure. He, who must face tremendous backlash during his low points. Yes, being a Badminton player in Indonesia act as a double edge swords. Badminton athletes were loved and praised during their glory. But, badminton fans can be really harsh and opinionated when the athletes fail. Ginting, who must feel extremely disappointed upon his lost, but can come back the next day looking completely happy for Jonathan Christie, his team mate during the awarding ceremony of the Asian Games. Ginting, who last week lost against Axelsen, but came back with positivity and confident to fight him again and win. Ginting has the perseverance, hard work and courage to be a champion.
Congratulations Ginting and his family and support group! Congratulations Coach Hendry! Hope you will have more titles in the future!