(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Changing of the guard
Date: 3/20/2022 5:54 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma
The little-known young Indonesian duo were the show stoppers as they took down the biggest names to win the famous trophy. 

Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/ Bagas Maulana’s biggest achievement had been a Super 100 Hyderabad Open title so far. The youngsters forced many heads to turn up as they played their best-ever badminton. With nothing to lose, the Indonesians were simply unstoppable. 

Starting their campaign against the compatriots Yeremia Rambitan/ Pramudya Kusumawardana, they came back from behind to beat World bronze medallists Ong Yew Sin/ Teo Ee Yi. Next, Fikri/ Maulana saved three match points against the world champions Takuro Hoki/ Yugo Kobayashi in a nail-biting quarterfinal. 

The pair was busily outplaying the top two ranked pairs in the world, also their seniors and two-time former All England champions. The young guns were able to stay composed in the face of an inspired spell by Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/ Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. Today, they deservedly won the all-important opening game against Mohammad Ahsan/ Hendra Setiawan. 

Once through, Fikri/ Maulana ran away with the second game. It was soon over 21-19, 21-13. 

- We did not expect to win the All England. We are super happy and proud. I had butterflies in my stomach in the morning. As soon as we stepped on the court, we were focused and calm, the young pair was delighted.

- Don’t be too happy for too long. There’s still a long way to go. Focus on being consistent at this level and it will all be good, the veteran Setiawan rightly advised. 

The Daddies and the Minions
Does the victory mark the passing of batons in Indonesian men’s doubles? Perhaps not. The Daddies and the Minions are far from being done. While the world number ones just need some more self-confidence, one can only marvel at the Daddies’ longevity. 

- We are happy to have played in the final. Our juniors played good and deserved to win today. We hope to do well in the World Championships, Setiawan revealed. 

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