Junior Misbun is smashing to be No.1 soon
Misbun Ramdan has the height and striking looks and is growing to be more like his father Misbun Sidek.
More importantly, the 21-year-old Ramdan is determined to keep the Sidek badminton legacy alive.
So far, he is on the right track and it would not be wrong to say that he is the most improved back-up shuttler this year.
He is one of the two players under coach Hendrawan chosen to accompany the Thomas Cup squad as sparring partners for the centralised training in Dongguan from May 13-18 and the Finals in Wuhan from May 20-29. The other is Goh Soon Huat.
Ramdan also reached his first international final at the French International last month and, within a year, has improved from 183rd to 83rd in the world rankings.
Looking much fitter now, Ramdan said the constant moaning over the lack of replacements for world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei had pushed him to step out of his comfort zone.
“It’s time for me to step up and be ready to take over the mantle of national No. 1 soon,” said Ramdan, who hopes to break into the top 30 in the world by the end of the year.
He is so focused on his game that he is ready to shut off the attention he gets from the girls.
“It’s strictly badminton for me right now. I used to fool around during my school days but not anymore,” he said.
“I’m grateful that I have been selected as a sparring partner for the Thomas Cup squad.
“I will be in Wuhan with the team and it will be a great experience for me. I hope to be a key member of the team in 2014.”
Ramdan said former world champion Hendrawan and former singles chief coach Misbun had been influential in his new transformation.
“The most significant change is my physical condition. Hendrawan has really put a lot of emphasis in this area,” he said.
“My father doesn’t coach me anymore but he never fails to give me tips that are invaluable.”
Hafiz said Ramdan’s attacking style of play was similiar to Misbun and his uncle Rashid Sidek.
“However, I wish he would be more bold on court. He shouldn’t be in awe of his opponent no matter who that is.
“He’s fitter now and can handle his emotions on court. He can develop into a top player, said Hafiz.”