Wednesday, September 21, 2011 – Badmintonphoto
Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, one of the most recognisable faces in world badminton, suffered a shock opening round loss at the US$200,000 Yonex Open Japan, a World Superseries tournament, on Wednesday.
The former world and Olympic champion, who has been fighting to regain his form, is still relatively young as he is only 30, but doesn’t seem to enjoy playing the sport anymore.
Without a title for nearly a year, Taufik’s latest defeat could signal the beginning of the end of a stellar career which has lasted for more for than a decade.
Following his 53-minute 21-17, 12-21, 21-18 loss to Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen (pic above), on Wednesday, the Indonesian, who captured his sole OSIM BWF World Superseries crown when he won the French Open last year, was at a loss to explain his performance against the qualifier.
Speaking to AFP after his match, the baby-faced shuttler admitted: “I couldn’t play well at all. I couldn’t find the way to attack. I’ve lost my confidence.
“I enjoyed playing badminton in the old days. I want to regain my form, but I’m not sure how long I continue to play.”
With many top stars hinting they would quit after next year’s London Olympics, Taufik’s confession that no longer enjoys badminton is sure to send shockwaves around the world, particularly as China’s Bao Chunlai announced his retirement on Wednesday due to a persistent knee injury.
Perhaps it was just the shock of losing so early in a World Superseries tournament which got to fifth seed and hopefully, Taufik will soon regain his appetite for the sport.