Taufik Hidayat has achieved a lot in his badminton career. He has won the most reputable gold titles in badminton, the Olympics Gold in 2004, and the Badminton World Cup.
Taufik experienced a decrease in the level of fitness since 2008. Since then, he was not able to compete with younger players who are faster and fitter than him.
Compared to other badminton players, Taufik Hidayat lost his level of fitness at a relatively young age.
This may be due to the fact that he started his career at an extremely young age.
At the young age of 17, Taufik Hidayat had already made it to the finals of the All England Badminton Championships.
During that time, the All England badminton tournament was considered to be one of the most reputable badminton tournaments! The Super Series and Badminton World Championships were not introduced yet.
It is certainly a remarkable achievement.
Taufik's career peaked in the early 2000. He had his shot at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 but failed to bring the gold medal back home.
In the next Olympic Games held in Athens during 2004, he was crowned as the Olympic champion after defeating Shon Seung-Mo from South Korea.
Around 2005, badminton fans witnessed the rise of a new badminton star, Lin Dan. The rivalry between Taufik Hidayat and the young Lin Dan was extremely entertaining.
Badminton fans loved watching them in battle.
Watch an exciting rally between Taufik and Lin Dan in the video below.
This match was played in 2004 during the Indonesian Open.
There were a couple of great badminton players during the era of Taufik Hidayat.
Xia Xuan Ze of China (now Lin Dan's coach) had the ability to beat Taufik in his best form and was a very challenging opponent for Taufik.
Taufik's style of playing badminton is pretty straight forward. He sets himself up in a rally, then plays a winning shot.
In an average game, Taufik uses his backhand strokes more often than any other player!
He is very talented in executing backhand strokes and is very confident to use the backhand.
Usually when an opponent hits the shuttle to a player's backhand area, the defender is forced to:
Since Taufik produces quality backhand strokes, no opponent could get him out of position nor exploit a weakness from his backhand.
During his era, badminton deception was not a popular skill in winning rallies (despite that, players like Peter Gade used it so effectively to his advantage).
Taufik's game was simple and straightforward.
He forced his opponents to play at a very high pace. When his opponent couldn't keep up with his pace, they will eventually lift the shuttle and this is when Taufik plays the winner.
However as he aged, he no longer possess great speed.
With stronger and more agile opponents (such as the current world no.1 Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan), Taufik played an intelligent game rather than competing with his opponents in speed.
Instead of forcing his opponents to play at a higher pace, Taufik now forces his opponents to play at the same pace as him.
This is a smart psychological strategy employed by Taufik.
Opponents that do not have a strong mentality will fall into his 'trap'.
Basically, younger players are more energetic and they play better when they get the rhythm they want.
If the badminton game is played at such a low pace, young players will not get the rhythm they desire; hence they lose patience and commit unforced errors.
Unfortunately, this strategy by Taufik is only effective against young and inexperienced badminton players. Strong opponents like Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei tend to overrun this strategy by forcing Taufik into a faster pace game.
What's Taufik's specialty?
Definitely it's his backhand!!
The unbelievable backhand shots he performed that rocked the badminton world were the jumping backhand smash and a cross court backhand clear.
If you've ever seen a jumping backhand smash, I believe Taufik will be the first person to show that kind of shot to you. Can you imagine how it looks like? You must be wondering how it is done.
The video below shows you a phenomenal jumping backhand smash by Taufik.
The jumping backhand smash totally SURPRISED his opponent.
Besides that, the video below shows a classic backhand smash by Taufik.
Again, the backhand smash surprised his opponent. Observe how fast he executed the backhand smash with so much power!
The backhand smash performed from the ground is more powerful than the jumping backhand smash. The jumping backhand smash just has a steeper angle. The position to perform the jumping backhand smash is not favourable in helping you generate more power.
Taufik is the ONLY badminton player capable of hitting such powerful backhand smashes. I think he holds the record of hitting the fastest backhand smash (260 km per hour).
So far he is the only person to ever hit such a powerful backhand smashes during a competition.
Besides that, he is the ONLY person to ever perform the jumping backhand smash from the rear court, during a badminton singles competition.
During the peak of Taufik's career, speed was working well towards his advantage.
Besides that, he possessed tremendous strength to produce powerful forehand jump smashes.
Up until today, he holds the record of hitting the FASTEST badminton jump smash in singles competitions. The speed of the smash was recorded at 305 km per hour!
Here is a video of Taufik's 305 km per hour smash.
Hear the sound when the shuttle makes contact with Taufik's racket.
Look at the speed of the shuttle.
It was almost impossible for any singles badminton player to retrieve it.
This guy is a legend!
In sum, he
This is my personal take on Taufik Hidayat. There's definitely more about him. If you have something to say about him, feel free to create your own page about this badminton player!!
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