EXPECT that every tie in the quarterfinals will come to a head.
Shesar Hiren believes the team’s quality would be leveled from the knockout stage after he became the hero of Indonesia’s title defenders yesterday in their tough 3-2 win against South Korea in a Group A match at the Impact Arena.
The 28-year-old Shesar was under pressure after Indonesia lost the first two points to Anthony Ginting who fell 21-16, 15-21, 14-21 to Heo Kwang-hee, while scratch pair Kevin Sanjaya-Mohd Ahsan lost 18 – 21, 21-13, 12-21 for Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae in the second pair.
Shesar, however, managed to keep Indonesia’s hopes alive after beating Yeoka Hyeok-jin 19-21, 21-8, 21-10 in 63 minutes.
His teammates then managed to equalize.
Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto tied the tie when they managed to beat Yong Jin-Na Sung-seung 23-21, 21-16, and their youngster Syabda Perkasa, who plays in his first final, secured the winning point 21-14, 11- 21, 21-16.
Shesar said the win gave him the confidence to play even better in the quarterfinals.
“Whether I play the second single or the third, the opponents will be just as strong. It is difficult to say who will be the favorites, “said Shesar.
“Indonesia is here to defend the title and we are going to the end.”
Anthony, who failed to win a single match in the group, remained optimistic.
“I played well today, but I couldn’t finish. It’s not about my physical condition or skills, but I’m obviously facing a crisis of self-esteem, ”said Anthony.
“I am happy to have teammates who support me. Despite my condition, they still have faith in me, I will definitely be back in the elimination round.
“Just look at all the best singles in the quarterfinals, everyone has a chance to win. It will certainly be competitive. ”
Apart from Indonesia and South Korea, the other teams in the round of 16 are Denmark and China (Group B), Taiwan and India (Group C), Japan and Malaysia (Group D). The draw will be made after the last tie in the group.
“I will have to face all the top players, who have done well like Lee Zii Jia, Viktor Axelsen … it all depends on the draw.
Other best individual players, apart from Anthony, Zii Jia, Axelsen, are Kento Momota (Jpn), Lu Guangzu (Chn), Chou Tien-chen (Tpe), Lakshya Sen (Ind), Kwang-hee (Kor) and Kunlavut Vitidsarn Tha).
“I think this is one of the few finals in which every quarterfinal will be tied.”
Thomas Cup Final
Group A: Indonesia bt South Korea 3-2; Thailand and Singapore 3-2
Group C: Germany bt Canada 3-2, Taiwan bt India 3-2
Uber Cup Finals Group A: Japan bt Indonesia 4-1; Germany v. France 3-2
Group B: China bt Taiwan 5-0, Spain bt Australia 4-1
Group C: Thailand bt Denmark 5-0, Malaysia bt Egypt 5-0
Group D: South Korea bt India 5-0, Canada bt United States 3-2