The Badminton World Championships 2019 has provided some huge upsets over the past couple of days. After Akane Yamaguchi, the women's singles top seed was beaten by unseeded Yeo Jia Min, doubles division's top seeds Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon succumbed to a similar fate at the hands of the unseeded duo of Choi Sul-Gyu and Seo Seung Jae from South Korea.
However, the result wasn't as one-sided as Yamaguchi's match yesterday. In fact, it was probably one of the most exciting matches in this year's World Championships.
After breezing through the opening set 21-16, a bout of complacency coupled with an inspired performance by Choi Sul-Gyu rattled the pair from Indonesia and left the match on a knife's edge as they stepped into the third game.
With only a one-point difference at the mid-game interval of the final game, it was certainly a nail biter of a match for badminton fans around the world. Though the Indonesian pair had both experience and skill on their side, a very evident lack of consistency let them down.
Trailing 14-17, Marcus Gideon took the game by the scruff of the neck to draw level at 17 apiece. But whenever Gideon turned on the heat, Sukamuljo went into hibernation, and vice versa.
They simply could not bring their best to the fore. It was this inconsistency that led to their downfall. However, they were still good enough to reach match point to take advantage. Their failure to land the final blow gave Choi and Seo a chance to claw their way back into the match.
Soon, the Korean pair had a match point of their own at 21-20.
A seasoned fighter that he is, Kevin Sukamuljo was not one to go down without a fight. He hit a clinical smash off a flick service to level the game once more at 21 apiece. But the pressure was on and proved to be the undoing for the top seeds, especially Gideon, who was caught napping with a flick serve off the last point of the match.
The Korean pair registered a most memorable win, courtesy of a 16-21, 21-14, 23-21 scoreline to go one up over the tournament favorites from Indonesia. It remains to be seen if this edition of the World Championships will present more unbelievable upsets in the days to come.Published 21 Aug 2019, 20:41 IST