Data | Indian shuttlers overcame poor head-to-head records and higher ranked players to win Thomas cup

Thomas Uber Cup Finals 2022

Thomas Uber Cup Finals 2022 | Photo Credit: Mikael Ropars

On May 15, India won its first Thomas Cup, defeating 14-time champions Indonesia 3-0 in the final in Bangkok. It was a historic win as the last time the Indian badminton team managed to enter the semi-finals of the tournament was 43 years ago. The final against Indonesia was the most challenging as all the opponents were ranked higher than the Indian players and the head-to-head records were poor. Moreover, the number of top 10 players from India in the singles and doubles categories was lower compared to those from Indonesia

 Jump through hoops

The table lists the difference in rankings between Indian players and their opponents in the knock-out rounds of the Thomas Cup which India won. A negative number shows that the opponent had a better ranking. The table also lists the wins recorded in head-to-head battles in the past with the opponent. A negative number indicates that the Indian player had lost more matches than the opponent in such battles. For doubles players, head-to-head battles were considered regardless of who the player paired with in the past. For instance, in the past, Chirag Shetty as a doubles player had 13 losses and one win against Indonesia’s Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo as a doubles player. Put together, in those 14 matches, Chirag’s or Sukamuljo’s partner was irrelevant to this calculation. Similarly, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy had 12 losses and one win against Sukamuljo in the past. Shetty and Rankireddy ranked 9 in doubles, defeated Sukamuljo and Ahsan ranked one and two respectively, in the finals

Scroll towards the right to view the complete table

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 Breaking the mould

The table shows the levels reached by select countries in the Thomas Cup from 1967 to 2022. Between 1967 and 2020, India never won the tournament and only entered the semi-finals once before winning in 2022

Squad depth

The table lists the number of players in the top 50 world rankings as of May 3, 2022. India had one singles player in the top 10, while Indonesia and Denmark had two. India had only two doubles players in the top 10, while Indonesia had six

The rankings in all tables were as of May 3, 2022

Source: Badminton World Federation

Also read: Each for all: On India’s men badminton team win in Thomas Cup

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Printable version | May 26, 2022 10:33:35 am |