Sony Dwi Kuncoro: (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)
Indonesian shuttler Sony Dwi Kuncoro is to meet Danish star Peter Gade in the first round of the Indonesia Open badminton championship in Jakarta after defeating two players in a row in the qualification stages on Tuesday.
Sony, who won the Thailand Open men’s singles title on Sunday, defeated Frenchman Brice Leverdez 21-18 and 21-19 in the final qualification stage on Tuesday at the Istora Indoor Stadium in the Senayan Sports Complex.
Earlier, the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist who had just arrived in Jakarta from Bangkok on Monday evening, lost the first set to Indian Anand Pawar 21-23 in the first round of qualification, but managed to win the remaining sets 21-10 and 21-9.
“I was not underestimating him [Pawar] in the first set, but I admit that my game was too safe and I moved too slowly,” Sony said as quoted by Antara news agency, commenting on his loss in the first set, which he led 21-20 at one stage.
“In the second set, I found my rhythm as well as some shots that would be difficult for him to return, thus the landslide score in the last two sets,” the player, ranked 65th in the world, added.
Sony will face world fifth ranked, and tournament third seed, Peter Gade of Denmark, in the main round of the US$650,000 event, which will begin on Wednesday.
Sony, who recently made a comeback after struggling with back and wrist injuries for months, said, when asked about his target in the tournament, that he would focus on each match.
“I do not want to set any target but just play it one match at a time,” said Sony, who won the Indonesia Open in 2008.
Meanwhile, young player Andre Kurniawan Tedjono will meet veteran champion Taufik Hidayat in the main round of the championship. Andre defeated his compatriot Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 22-20, 20-22 and 21-18 in their final qualification match on Tuesday.
“I will play my best badminton against Taufik,” said Andre. (asa/mtq)