Some new, some old. Several players made their playing debuts this year, while others, old hands at their sports, had less than ideal seasons.
Some players, however, started off 2015 in a slump, out of form, or simply unable to achieve the results they had previously been accustomed to. Management decisions affected some others, but each of these 5 players overcame all of those odds to finish 2015 on a high:
#5 Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
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Malaysian shuttler Lee Chong Wei is widely regarded as one of the best in the sport. He hit his highest-ever ranking of World No. 1 in December of last year, and has medaled at the Olympics, the World Championships and the Asian Games.
Lee has excelled on the international stage, taking a staggering four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games over his career so far. After a strong number of years until 2013, Lee suffered a significant slump in form, starting the year off with a fourth straight loss to Chinese shuttler Chen Long.
At the time, although he won the Malaysian Open for a record tenth time, he announed he was contemplating retirement immediately following that year’s Asian Games as he felt that he had lost his form.
He won the All-England and India Opens as well, but saw himself upset at the 2015 Singapore Open.
The rest of the year saw him suffer subsequent losses to Chen Long in straight sets, and ended the year losing to Chen’s compatriot Lin Dan just a few days afterward.
2015 brought shocking news to the badminton world, which was shaken by the news that the Badminton Association of Malaysia had run tests on the samples of one of the country’s top shuttlers, and the samples had tested positive for banned drug dexamethasone. It was eventually revealed to be Lee Chong Wei, and the results led Lee to be handed an 8-month ban from the sport by the Badminton World Federation.
Lee bounced back with a vengeance after serving his ban, winning each of his three matches at the Sudirman Cup. On the back of this, he won titles at the US Open and Canada Open, and after a short lull, came back yet again to take the title at the French Open, his maiden China Open and the Hong Kong Open.
Making a comeback first from a drug ban and then a returned lull in form, Lee showed true grit in 2015.
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