It was a close shave for the Minions on Thursday as they saved match point to make the quarterfinals of the YONEX SUNRISE India Open 2023.
The long-time world No.1 duo, currently in 19th place, had their hands full against Chinese duo Ren Xiang Yu/Tan Qiang, but managed to hold them off 23-21 in the third game.
“We were lucky, they played very well. It was a very difficult match for us, they were attacking and defending well, and it was so hard for us to get through their defence,” said Marcus Fernaldi Gideon.
Having undergone surgery last April on both ankles, and subsequently struggling to find the form that defined the duo’s successes, Gideon said he was hopeful of occupying the top pedestal of championships once again.
“It’s getting a lot better compared to last year. I had surgery last year, and the recovery was not as fast as I expected. But we are trying to get back on track and doing our best. We want to be champions again and we want to be back like before,” said Gideon.
They are now the fifth-ranked Indonesians at No.19, but Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo said the slide down the rankings wasn’t bothering them.
“We don’t think about rankings, we just give our best every match. Hopefully we can go to the top 8 again.
“Men’s doubles has become very competitive. Any pair in the top 30 can beat each other. It forces us to try to improve every day, and always improve every match. This (level) is very good for the competition.”