Unbeaten in three tournaments this season, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo have raced to the top of the HSBC Race to Guangzhou rankings.
The Indonesians, who won their sixth tournament in a row – their last final loss was at the Yonex Denmark Open last October – have pocketed 30,400 points from their three wins this year. Their triumph at the Yonex All England Open in March – where they lost only one game in five days – gave them 12,000 points and helped them leap up by three places to the No.1 position. Their other two titles were at the Daihatsu Indonesia Masters and the Yonex-Sunrise Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta India Open.
Another Indonesian pair – Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto – are at No.3. The Indonesians had a breakthrough season, clinching the Perodua Malaysia Masters and finishing runners-up at the Yonex German Open.
In second spot, less than 1000 points behind the leaders, are Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong. The Malaysians started the year well, making the semi-finals of the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters and finishing runners-up at home, before another semi-final finish, at the Yonex German Open. While they aren’t yet at their peak form of 2016, Goh and Tan will be happy with their progress this year after playing with different partners in 2017.
Denmark have the biggest presence in the top ten, with three pairs – Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding (No.4); Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (No.6) and Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (No.7). Boe and Mogensen captured the Swiss Open before falling at the ultimate hurdle at the All England, while Conrad-Petersen and Kolding have also been consistent, with two semi-final and two quarter-final appearances.
A young duo from Thailand have made their way into the top ten – Tinn Isriyanet and Kittisak Namdash. The Thais quickly came of age – winning the Thailand Masters at home and finishing runners-up in Switzerland. Having struck form, the young pair could well give their country the edge at the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals on their home turf.
Chinese Taipei have surged ahead in recent months in Men’s Doubles: they now have four pairs in the top 15. Experienced duo Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin are at No.8; their season starting with a semi-final at the Malaysia Masters. They are followed by Liao Min Chun/Su Ching Heng at No.10; Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han at No.11 and Lee Jhe-Huei/Lee Yang at No.15. Liao and Su have had a bright season so far, with three quarter-finals in four tournaments, including at the All England.
Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen are the only Chinese pair in the top ten. The No.9-ranked pair’s best performance thus far has been a runner-up finish in Indonesia.
Former World champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, back this year after extended stints with other partners, are at No.12 following semi-finals in India and Germany.
Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe (No.13) moved up 14 places thanks to their semi-final performance at the All England.
India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty; China’s Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan; Japan’s Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko; Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen/David Daugaard; Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi and Denmark’s Kasper Antonsen/Niclas Nohr are the other pairs in the top 20.
The top eight ranked singles and doubles pairs will qualify to the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou in December.