For Mathias Boe, it has been a 'remarkable season'

The veteran Danish pair of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen, currently ranked No.2 in the world, is considered one of the best doubles combination in the history of the sport.

Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen   -  Sandeep Saxena

Both are in their 30s, and are still going very strong.

The veteran Danish pair of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen, currently ranked No.2 in the world, is considered one of the best doubles combination in the history of the sport.

In fact, Mathias, the 37-year-old, felt that 2017 has been the duo’s best year, winning two titles in Singapore Open and Korea Open, and reaching three finals.

“Of course, reaching five finals is a major achievement. Throughout our carer we have not done that, I think. We have reached four finals before. It’s been a remarkable season,” said Mathias in an exclusive chat with Sportstar here on Monday.

It has not been smooth sailing for the Danes.

READ: A badminton dessert in the desert

For in early 2016, Carsten fainted during a tournament at the hotel which was later diagnosed as a ruptured brain aneurysm. But he underwent a major surgery and was back on court within seven months.

Recalling those days, Mathias said it was obviously quite tough, but the best thing was that they won a title after his partner’s comeback. “It is never easy to see somebody being close to dying. He (Carsten) got through it. It took him six months. He was back on court, ready for the Rio Olympics. We won the French Open in 2016, it was remarkable. We have played for so long. We know each other so well,” said Mathias.

The two-time All England Open champion said in difficult times, one realises how small sport is. “Just thankful that he was able to recover and we could continue our career. In such situations, badminton is secondary as it was about surviving. It was a fairy tale story,” he said.

READ: Dubai Superseries Finals: Favourable draw for Sindhu

Mathias attributed the pair’s success— it has won 16 Super Series titles, an (2012) Olympic silver, two All England Open titles (2011 and 2015) and 11 Grand Prix titles — to pure hard work. “It requires lot of work as the competition is extremely hard. Badminton is one of the biggest sports in the world. To be able to win 16 titles is remarkable. We are still hungry for more even though we are not young anymore,” he said.

Mathias refused to agree that doubles is getting the short thrift, but admitted that things are in favour of men singles as it is in other sports too. And, it is because, he explained, this era is witnessing some of the biggest male players.

“The best paid are male players, it is how things are. It is also because at this era, we have some of the biggest men players: Lin Dan, Chen Long, Lee Chong Wei and now new rising star Viktor (Axelsen). The rivalry in singles is of course hot,” he said.

Mathias said the pair is looking forward to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will be quite special for his sponsor Yonex’s head office is in Tokyo. “Time travels fast. 2020 is just around the corner. It is something that excites us. Yonex has been my main sponsor for my entire career and their head office is in Tokyo and coming there is special,” said Mathias.

  Dugout videos