Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto won his country the first point in the Thomas Cup Group A tie against Singapore. Indonesia went on to win 5-0. - Filepic
NEW DELHI: Former World Junior Championships silver medallist Tommy Sugiarto made a nervous return to competitive badminton after a three-month lay-off to steer Indonesia to a 5-0 whitewash of Singapore in their opening Group A Thomas Cup Finals tie at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium.
Tommy needed time to break down a fighting Derek Wong before prevailing 21-11, 17-21, 21-15 in 54 minutes to give Indonesia the first point.
It got easier after that as world number one doubles pair Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan beat Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Chayut Triyachart 21-15, 21-16 and Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka made it 3-0 with a 21-17, 21-14 win over Huang Chao.
Ryan Agung Saputra-Angga Pratama and Simon Santoso completed the formalities for Indonesia by winning their respective second doubles and third singles later.
This is Tommy’s first time playing in the first singles for Indonesia.
Being the son of former badminton world champion Icuk Sugiarto, naturally, there are expectations for Tommy to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Icuk won the world title in 1983 and played a big role in Indonesia’s successful Thomas Cup campaign in 1984.
But Tommy, the current world number five, is not worried about filling his father’s shoes. Getting himself back to prime condition is his priority at the moment.
”I had a long rest because of my ankle injury and I did not even join the isolation camp for the Thomas Cup before we came here.
”I have not played a top competitive event for some time, so I need to adapt to the pressure again.
”I had a difficult time initially when I followed Derek’s pace. It cost me the second game.
”But I hope to get better after this,” said the 25-year-old, who last played at the All-England where he reached the second round.
Tommy made the final of the World Superseries Finals in December and the Malaysia Open in January but lost to Lee Chong Wei on both occasions.
Indonesia, who are hoping to regain the title they last won in 2002, will play Nigeria on Tuesday before finishing their group fixtures against Thailand on Wednesday.