Indonesia Masters series returns after two years hiatus as Indonesia’s most premium badminton competition will look to serve a spectacle from 23 to 28 January 2018 with Daihatsu as its sponsor, the tournament name will be changed to “DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2018“.
With Daihatsu’s investment into the sport, the 5th edition of the tournament will see a staggering prize pool of USD 350,000 – eclipsing the payouts from past competitions.
The Indonesia Masters is top on Liliyana NATSIR’s 2018 priority list.
The upgraded tournament, serves as a perfect platform for the Indonesian ace mixed doubles to kick-start her preparation for 2018 as she begins her quest to win her first ever Asian Games gold medal.
Liliyana/Tontowi now occupy the third spot in the BWF’s world ranking. The 32-year old Queen of Mixed Doubles looks forward to achieving good results in the DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2018 to boost her confidence and preparation in other major challenges in 2018.
How do you regard the upcoming DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2018 and your training regime as you prepare to launch a strong challenge in 2018?
As we all know, the DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2018 has been elevated from a Grand Prix Gold to a Superseries event. And thus, making it significant in many ways. The challenge, the stakes, the quality of players and of course, the huge prize money.
To me, the tournament, being held early in the year, holds a very significant and meaningful purpose. Of course, playing in front of the home crowd, I’m determined to prove my worth. I’m preparing hard for the tournament with my partner Tontowi and both of us look forward to achieving positive results in Jakarta.
My ultimate aim for 2018 is to win the elusive Asian Games gold medal, more so, winning it on home soil in Jakarta, host of the Asiad. And to achieve this, I need to be consistent and vigilant all year long… and the journey begins with the Indonesia Masters in January 2018.
My sights is set firmly on the Asiad 2018 but firstly, I need to ensure my place in the national badminton squad and continue to be part of the team. And to do so, I need to prepare early and what better way than to prove myself in the prestigious Indonesia Masters.
What about the quality of players and who do you think will pose the greatest challenge to your mission in the tournament?
First, the increased prize money to USD350,000 dangled by the organisers and sponsors of the tournament will certainly attract the world's top badminton players to head for Jakarta come January 2018. Players filling up the top ten list are certain to be in Jakarta -- in the singles, doubles as well as mixed doubles.
China, with five mixed doubles pair filling up the top 10 bracket, will definitely be hard to beat. But, with my partner Tontowi, I’m hoping that playing in front of the home fans at the famous Istora Senayan will provide us with some advantage, physically and emotionally, over our rivals.
Being able to play in front of your home fans, more so at Istora Senayan, is indeed a great honour. And doing well and winning the Indonesia Masters would certainly be a great feat which carries a special meaning to me. I still want to be the best in Indonesia and I have already started my strict training regime to prepare me for the new look Indonesia Masters tournament.
As for the other players, home spectators are sure to witness some great performances from our very own heroes -- 11th-ranked singles player Jonatan CHRISTIE and current world top-ranked pair of Marcus Fernaldi GIDEON and Kevin Sanjaya SUKAMULJO. They will be participating in the tournament and this would surely add excitement, glamour and prestige to the event, especially with the inclusion of Marcus/Kevin who have shown tremendous achievement this year where they won six Superseries titles this year including the recent Hong Kong Open last month.
To be able to march into eight finals and win the All England, Indian Open, Malaysian Open, Japan Open and the China Open tournament in a year (2017) is simply a massive achievement. We look forward to another great achievement from them in the upcoming DAIHATSU Indonesian Masters 2018.
As the first female shuttler to have won four BWF World Championships in mixed doubles, your name in the badminton history books is firmly etched. Your latest achievement, which is winning the 2017 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in August, proved that you yourself will be among the hot favourites in the DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2018.
I’m well aware of the expectation but I’m not perturbed. I’ve psyched myself up not to succumb to unnecessary pressure, as proven during the final match of the Rio Olympic against Malaysian pair of Liu Ying GOH/CHAN Peng Soon.
As I’ve said, the Indonesia Masters is important as it serves as a perfect platform for me to start off the year with good results. Holding the tournament at the beginning of the year would not have been any better for me. It would be the perfect start for my Asian Games preparations. The staging of this prestigious tournament comes at the right time as top players from Asia especially begin their preparation for the Asian Games next year. I’m sure it’s going to be special for all of us.
How long do you think you can stay on top of your game and how do you cope with pressure prior and during competition?
I’m quite certain I still have plenty of time playing competitively and stay at the top with the best. There is no shortcut to success and I will continue to improve my game and keep up with the rest. Be positive and determined in whatever you do. It won’t go wrong.
My fourth World Championships title with Tontowi AHMAD recently came as a huge boost to me as I gear up to face new challenges in the new year, including doing well in the Indonesia Masters.
As mentioned earlier, for now, to start off my preparation for 2018, the Indonesia Masters is top on my priority list. I’m looking forward to compete against other top ranked players and bring glory to the Indonesian squad.
Finally, your hope and message to your fans and badminton fanatics in Indonesia and around the world?
To all my fans, spectators and badminton enthusiasts around the world, mark the date January 23-28 in your calendar. After a lapse of one year, following cancellation of the competition in 2017, the Masters is back. I’m sure, fans especially the home crowd, will be eager to witness some great action when the DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2018 starts in January. Istora Seanayan awaits you at the Indonesia Masters. There’ll be plenty of world class action, fun and excitement, that I can assure you!*As this interview was conducted prior to the decision made during the selections, there may be differences to the actual participating players.
‘‘DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2018’’ Tournament Overview
|Name||DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2018|
|Dates||23 January 2018 (Tues) – 28 January 2018 (Sun)|
|Organized by||Persatuan Bulutangkis Seluruh Indonesia (PBSI)|
|Officially Recognized by||Badminton World Federation (BWF)|
|Main Sponsorship||Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.|
|Event Categories||Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Singles. Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles|
Liliyana NATSIR (born 9 September 1985)
Liliyana NATSIR is an Indonesian female badminton player who specializes in doubles. With one gold and silver from Olympic Games and four gold medals at BWF World Championships, she is regarded as one of the greatest mixed doubles players in the history.
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