Entertaining the courts with his playful antics and youthful energy, Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, together with Marcus Fernaldi Gideon, have earned the moniker of the “Minions” of the badminton world. And above it all, their skills, when combined, are raising the bar in men’s doubles badminton. They have earned them the title of the world’s No 1 in their category by winning, consecutively, the Indonesia Masters from 2018 to 2020 and the All England championship in 2017 and 2018 among many other tournaments.
Playing singles is every badminton player’s dream. As time passed, I failed to win several tournaments playing in the singles category. This experience brought me down many times, and I wondered what went wrong. Nevertheless I trusted that my coaches knew better by moving me to men’s doubles, and then I started to grow and won tournament after tournament. Although the road has never been easy, in the end it is worth all the effort to bring me here.
Imagine that you are in a relationship: that is what it feels like to play doubles. You combine both parties’ feelings to understand one another; you put aside your own ego because you both want to win and at, the same time, focus together on each point in the game. It was easy when we won games back to back, but when we lost the tournament, it was time for some introspection to find room to improve and communicate with each other better.
I am not short tempered, I am eager to win. On the court, sometimes nontechnical things happen suddenly in any kind of shape or form and immediately the adrenaline in my blood rushes in to win. I should not stop or break my focus and plan the next move. Even though all players are able to do the flick serve, many badminton viewers have associated me with having one of the best flick serve, which is what I’m thankful for. It is a matter of timing and reading the opponent because, in the end, we need to be fully aware with the situation in just a few seconds to successfully execute the flick serve.
Jet skiing is how I escape from my badminton life. My hobby is automotives and I love to tinker with all vehicles from bicycles to sports cars, which is how I came to love jet skiing. Although I’m still learning, I find inner peace when I ride the jet ski because it’s so different from my daily routine. Going to the sea is also a relaxation exercise for me where I can rest at the beach and chill with my friends during tournament breaks.