Return of The Daddies, Minions Stay Strong – But Again Fail On The Biggest Occasions
The 2019 Badminton season in Mens Doubles has surely been dominated by Indonesia. The Minions Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo once again are the top duo and proofed their status as world number 1 with many trophy wins in BWF 1000 and 750 events. Quite often they beat their compatriots Hendra Setiawan and Mohamad Ahsan to win their titles. Astonishingly enough despite a 0:5 Head to Head against the Minions in 2019, you have to say that the Legendary Indonesian Pair – The Daddies – had the most successful season.
They won the three most prestigious tournaments of the year. First the fairytale in Birmingham, where they managed to win the All England despite a calve injury of Setiawan. Then they crowned themselves world champions in Basel for a third time – actually remain unbeaten as a pair at world championships! And finally they won the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals, where the best 8 pairs of the year battled for the trophy. Additionally they won the New Zealand Open, which is not as prestigious, but in my opinion gave us the most entertaining match of the year. Do yourself a favour and have a look at Setiawan/Ahsan beating Yuta Watanabe and Hiroyuki Endo in a spectacular match, where the Indonesias had to show their full repertoire to break the Japanese defense.
|Yonex All England Open Championships||Blibli Indonesia Open||BWF World Championships||Victor China Open||BWF World Tour Finals|
Fun fact of the season:
H2H Gideon/Sukamuljo vs. Setiawan/Ahsan 5:0
H2H Gideon/Sukamuljo vs. Endo/Watanbe 0:5
H2H Setiawan/Ahsan vs. Endo/Watanabe 5:0
Says a lot about the importance of playing style. The Daddies have trouble with the Minions, because they also like the flat fast game and are even faster. Additionally Kevin Sukamuljo is pretty much the only player I have ever seen to take away the net from Setiawan. Hendra usually plays the net despite the opponent waiting there and it works. But when Kevin is waiting, he lifts the shuttle.
The Minions on the other side cannot cope with the solid defense of Endo/Watanabe. The Japanese pair would just lift high and not give the Indonesians any pace to feed of. Especially Gideon seems unable to cope with that and often gets targeted by them.
Last but not least the Daddies just have more variations than the Minions and therefore can break the defence of Endo/Watanabe. You just never know what kind of shot to expect from the Indonesians.
With a third pair in the Top 10 (Fajar Alfian & Muhammad Rian Ardianto) the Mens Doubles Category is certainly dominated by Indonesia at the moment. But what about the pairs from other nations? Well, none of them were really convincing throughout the year, The Chinese Twin Towers Li Junhui & Liu Yuchen and Takeshi Kamura & Keigo Sonoda of Japan are numbers 3 and 4 in world rankings. But they haven`t really done anything remarkable. I guess Endo/Watanabe did ok, two pairs from Chinese Taipeh are emerging, Korea`s Choi/Seo made some progress and Hoki/Kobayashi played a brilliant World Championship tournament in Basel. The Danish mens doubles however look hopeless at the moment. Quite unusual for Europe`s strongest Badminton nation.
So let`s see if in 2020 the other nations can get closer to Indonesia again and fight for the big titles.