“When a leftie is good, he tends to dominate for a while.”
Malaysian legend Rashid Sidek says most left-handed players are talented and can become an asset to any national team if nurtured the right way. He says lefties are naturally gifted.
Rashid Sidek is a bronze medal winner at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games in the men’s singles discipline and was also a part of the Malaysian team that won the 1992 Thomas Cup. Sidek mentioned that there were not many left-handed players in his time but the few that were made it to the top.
Talking to The Star, he said, “There were not many lefties during my time but those who made it to the top, were exceptionally good.
“Yang Yang, Poul-Erik were a nuisance to me during my playing days. It was hard to play against them as they were tricky and deceptive with their shots. I had to really bring out the best in me to beat them.
“They thought in a different way and their ideas varied. Some of their cross-court shots were crazy!”
Sidek mentioned Lin Dan as an all-time great and said, “When a leftie is good, he tends to dominate for a while.”
He also made an observation that a right and left-handed player make a good team in doubles. He pointed out the pairing of Fu Haifeng and Cai Yun who won the 2012 London Olympics gold medal and the 2016 Rio Olympics winning pair of Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan as an example.
He said that Malaysia would also benefit from such left-right handed pairings. “It’s good to hear that there are a few left-handed juniors in the team. It’s good to have a mix. They can be good sparring for right-handed players too.”
Who are the top left-handed players in the world right now?
We, here at 360Badminton, put Rashid Sidek’s theory into practice and saw how many left-handed players dominated the top spots.
Kento Momota has been the world No. 1 for 76 weeks now, until the BWF froze the world rankings on March 17. He is a two-time world champion and is reputed to be the best in the world right now.
Carolina Marin, who is at No. 6 in the world is a three-time world champion and the reigning Olympic champion. Marin is quite indestructive on the court and she carries the right confidence and demeanour on the court.
Yuta Watanabe is ranked No. 5 in both the mixed doubles discipline and the men’s doubles discipline. He is a two-time All England champion in two disciplines. He along with partner Hiroyuki Endo are slowly becoming tournament favourites.
Besides these three, here is a list of the other lefties who are doing well in the top 10 rankings.
- He Bing Jiao (WS)
- Jia Yi Fan (WD)
- Seo Seung Jae (MD/XD)
- Chang Ye Na (WD)
- Chae YuJung (XD)
- Tang Chun Man (XD)
- Tse Ying Suet (XD)