Indonesia’s former top men’s singles shuttler Simon Santoso produced an upset in Singapore Open by defeating world No. 7, Du Pengyu in rubber set: 16-21, 21-17, and 21-17. Simon turned professional in January 2014, in a bid to come out of his badminton career rut.
Simon has proven that it was indeed the right move for him when he captured the 2014 Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold title 3 weeks ago, and stormed into the finals of the Singapore Open.
Simon defeated Du Pengyu in a thrilling and breathtaking game has proven that he has regained some of his remarkable touches and to certain extends, he is actually better than the Simon we knew in the mid 2000's.
Buoyed by the win, he is all fired up to go all the way to win the men’s singles title against world No 1. Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia.
"In the second set, I was able to out speed Du Pengyu, move quickly and hit the shuttlecock to open court many times," said Simon.
"I was really patient when playing Du Pengyu; most importantly, I was able to cut down my own mistakes in the second and the third set," added Simon who aims to rise to top 10 in BWF ranking this year.
Simon Santoso who once ranked as high as world No three turned professional in January after 10 years with the national team (All-Indonesia Badminton Association) after hitting a plateau in his career.
His performance became stagnated in the national team after 2010; one of the factors that affected his performance was his back injury which had stalled his progress seriously.
“I still love the sport very much, I need to do something to rejuvenate my badminton career.” said Simon, that's why he decided to become an independent player.
“I am training under Hendri Saputra right now and there is less pressure. I am in better condition too. It is important to enjoy oneself while playing. I am more relaxed now,” he said.
“The men’s singles competition is still wide open. Except for world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long of China, the standard of the others is about the same. I still have a chance to spice up the competition.”
When asked whether he was still harboring hopes of representing the country at the Thomas Cup Finals in May in New Delhi, Simon said: “I will never turn down national duty. It is up to the national team. For now, I just want to go on winning titles again,” he added.