Top 5 South East Asian Badminton Players in Men’s Singles 2019

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Top 5 South East Asian shuttlers in men’s singles right now

It is no secret that Southeast Asia has been a powerhouse of badminton. Indonesia and Malaysia, especially, have given the world absolute gems like Taufik Hidayat and Lee Chong Wei, who went on to become two of the greatest shuttlers ever.

After Hidayat, Indonesian men’s singles, however, suffered a downward slide, searching for their new big star who would take the country to the top once again. Now with the injection of some exciting young talent, their men’s singles department looks to have been revived.

The result is that the top three ranked Southeast Asian shuttlers in the men’s singles category right now are all from Indonesia, which indeed presents a rosy picture of their future.

Here’s a look at the top 5 Southeast Asian shuttlers in men’s singles right now.

Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (World Rank: 7, Indonesia)

Anthony Sinisuka Ginting

At the tender age of 22, Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting is the top-ranked player from the country as well as from the entire Southeast Asian region. Armed with a World Junior Championships bronze medal in 2014, Ginting fully came into his own on the senior circuit this year.

He made a stunning start to the season when he swept through the draw to conquer the Indonesia Masters with wins over established stars, one of whom was the reigning Olympic champion Chen Long.

Even though the youngster failed to replicate his heroics in the subsequent few tournaments, the Asian Games in Indonesia brought out the best in him once more. Ginting once more beat Long and the world champion Kento Momota as well, on his way to earning a bronze medal at home.

That run inspired him to deliver his very best on the BWF World Tour as well and he displayed his sheer talent at the China Open Super 1000 tournament. The quality of the opponents that the Indonesian beat was simply astounding. Lin Dan, Viktor Axelsen, Chou Tien Chen, Long and Momota were all his victims.

The performance paved the way for a career-high world ranking of No. 7 and gave a true testimony to his fearlessness on the big stage.

Tommy Sugiarto (World Rank: 10, Indonesia)

Tommy Sugiarto

This has been a resurgent season for the veteran Tommy Sugiarto. With improved fitness, the former World Championships bronze medallist is back among the elite once again.

The 30-year-old, who reached a career-high World No. 3 ranking in 2014, is back to No. 10 after a season of consistent results. Sugiarto began the 2018 season with the title at the Thailand Masters, dropping just one game in five matches.

He steadily kept reaching the quarter-finals and semi-finals after that, building up form and confidence. The other big highlights of his 2018 season were his runner-up shows at the Korea Open and the Thailand Open. At the Korea Open, he even accounted for his younger compatriot Jonatan Christie, proving that his hunger hasn’t diminished even one bit with age.

He was rewarded with a much-deserved berth among the best-eight men at the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals.

Jonatan Christie (World Rank: 11, Indonesia)

Jonatan Christie

21-year-old Jonatan Christie is the other rising Indonesian star, along with Ginting, who has ensured that the country’s future in men’s singles is certainly very bright. It was at the Asian Games where the youngster burst onto the scene, riding on the unflinching support of his countrymen.

For Christie, it wasn’t an easy route to the gold medal for he had to battle for three games in four out of the five matches that he played. But Christie displayed his survival skills and resilience in ample amounts, signalling that he is here to stay.

Christie, fondly called Jojo on the BWF World Tour, was making his mark for more than a year before his Asiad glory, reaching finals at three major tournaments. He also went on to win the gold at the Southeast Asian Games in 2017.

It was, however, not until the Asian Games that things finally fell into place for Christie to play to his potential. With a couple of BWF quarter-finals and a semi-final after that, the Indonesian took baby steps towards the top 10 rankings and is now at a career-high position of No. 11.

Lee Chong Wei (World Rank: 15, Malaysia)

Lee Chong Wei

One of the legends of the game, Lee Chong Wei is currently the No. 4 player among the Southeast Asian shuttlers in men’s singles. The Malaysian great’s hiatus from the sport in order to recover from nose cancer has seen him slip outside the top 10, even though he still has a protected ranking of No. 3.

Lee Chong Wei’s storied career in badminton is well-known to everyone. The three-time Olympic and World Championship silver medallist even captured the Commonwealth Games gold medal for the third time in his career as well as the Malaysia Open this year before the disease struck him.

The 36-year-old former World No. 1 is courage and determination personified. Having overcome the illness, Lee has set his sights on coming back to the sport that has given him so much, and even hopes to lay his hands on the ever elusive Olympic gold medal.

Khosit Phetpradab (World Rank: 16, Thailand)

Khosit Phetpradab

Thailand has recently produced a pack of men’s singles shuttlers who are making their presence felt at the higher echelons of the sport. For a country whose biggest singles star for the last few years has been former world champion Ratchanok Intanon in women’s singles, this has been a welcome change.

At 16th, 24-year-old Khosit Phetpradab is the highest-ranked player out of the rising Thai men’s singles stars.

Phetpradab has been making rapid strides to the top tier of the sport for the last one year. The biggest proof to that was his victory at the Vietnam Open last year.

It wasn’t until the middle of this year that he started making a really strong impression on the BWF World Tour. The Super 750 tournament in Japan was where the Thai came into his own, upsetting names such as Chen Long and Shi Yuqi on his way to the final.

Even though he lost to the irrepressible Kento Momota in the summit clash, he made it clear that we are going to see a lot more of him in the near future.

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