It was sweet revenge for Indonesian shuttler Jonatan Christie in the final of the E-Plus Badminton Asia Team Championships here in Alor Setar tonight.
The SEA Games gold medallist caused an upset when he beat world No.7 Shi Yuqi 16-21, 21-17, 21-18 to claim the first point for defending champions Indonesia.
Christie – ranked at world No. 13 – had a personal score to settle with the Chinese ace after two straight defeats at the 2016 Bitburger Open (21-16, 14-21, 14-21) and the 2016 French Open (21-12, 19-21, 16-21).
In the final here, Christie lost the first set 16-21 before he drew level with a 21-17 victory in the second.
In the third decisive set, the 20-year-old Christie was at the losing end when Yuqi stretched his lead to 14-18 before the Indonesian clawed his way back to rake in seven consecutive points to win 21-18.
“It was not easy playing Yuqi but I had to play smart to beat him as he is an attacking player. He is physically strong and fit. I’m happy to have won the point for Indonesia,” said Christie.
“I believe we’re both equals in terms of physical and mental strength as we’re both almost the same age. But I struggled to find get my form in the first set.
“I thought it was over when it was 18-14 in the third set. But I went on to play my game and I do believe it was a miracle that I managed to turn the lead around to win.” – BY ALVINA OH