Jakarta. Rising Indonesian badminton star Jonatan Christie has continued his good run of form following his baptism of fire at last month's Sudirman Cup, by earning a first-round berth at the BCA Indonesia Open Superseries tournament on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old shuttler beat national teammate and fellow qualifier Firman Abdul Kholik 21-16, 19-21, 24-22, and Thai veteran Boonsak Ponsana, 22-20, 21-17, to make it into the main draw of the men’s singles at the $800,000 tournament.
"I'm so excited to reach my goal to clinch a place in the first round. Playing against [Ponsana] was a big thing. I felt nervous with the spectators cheering for me. I couldn’t perform well in the beginning, but then I kept attacking and finally made it," Jonatan said.
He regained his confidence after coming back from 17-20 behind to level at 20-20 against Ponsana before closing out the first game.
"That boosted my [confidence] and I believed I could win the second game. I made it," he said.
Jonatan will meet Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in the first round of the tournament.
Teammate Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, 18, will also join Jonatan in the main draw after prevailing against compatriots Andre Kurniawan Tedjono and Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the qualifiers.
"I lost to Sony in Vietnam but I learned a lot from that. This time I tried to make him run all over the court. I was nervous with the noise from the crowd, but I managed to overcome it. The noise somehow gave me a confidence boost. I reached my goal," Anthony said.
"With only the youngsters left at the national training camp, all the attention is on us. That gives us an advantage. We’re one or two steps away from being competitive with the top-level shuttlers."