Sugiarto’s staying power was the key

Tommy Sugiarto proved his worth for Delhi Acers. After all, for a purchase price of $74,000, the Indonesian gave his franchisee every reason to rejoice by winning all his six matches.

Delhi Acers' Tommy Sugiarto.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Tommy Sugiarto proved his worth for Delhi Acers. After all, for a purchase price of $74,000, the Indonesian gave his franchisee every reason to rejoice by winning all his six matches. Currently ranked 11th in the world, Sugiarto produced some exhilarating performances, highlighted by his tie-clinching victory over favourite Lee Chong Wei in a sensational finish in the Delhi-Hyderabad match in New Delhi’s Siri Fort Indoor Complex.

At 14-14 in the deciding game, luck favoured Sugiarto as his smash caught the tape and fell on Lee Chong Wei’s side. In fact, had the shuttle failed to clear the tape, Hyderabad would have won the tie. Indeed, fortune favoured the fearless approach of the Indonesian, who, at this venue, humbled the mighty Lin Dan in the India Open last year.

Sugiarto twice defeated Chennai’s Brice Leverdez and Mumbai’s H. S. Prannoy after starting his campaign by brushing aside Lucknow’s Saensomboonsuk Tanongsak.

His staying power was the key, especially in the final against Prannoy who paid the price for using up too much energy in the fast-paced opening game. In all, Sugiarto dropped just two games during his unbeaten journey.

With Delhi’s mixed doubles and women’s singles proving to be the weak links, Sugiarto’s form gave the team the confidence to go all the way.