The first two days of the India Open was dominated by the Taufik Hidayat story. The great Indonesian is in the home stretch of his career and it was hardly a surprise to see him getting knocked out in the second round by India’s HS Prannoy. Hidayat’s ability to last a long match has been suspect over the last two seasons at least, and while that might make him appear to be a senior statesman, he is in fact only 31.
Badminton players generally seem to peak between 24 and 28, and Taufik’s career follows that script. But there are some who defy the limits of age. Peter Gade was one. Another, who isn’t quite as celebrated, is Robert Mateusiak of Poland, who at 37, is world No.10 in mixed doubles.