The Indonesians did make good on their promise, bagging 2023’s first two Super 1000 events – the Malaysia Open and All England. Their form post-Birmingham, however, has been poor – they returned to just one final in 12 events that followed.
Back where they dazzled last year at the Jyske Bank Arena – they dropped just a solitary game en route to topping the podium – FajRi, as they are known to their fans, acknowledged their recent disappointing performances.
Ardianto expanded: “We are trying to recapture the winning feeling that made us successful. We want to change our mindset, bring back all the good things of this partnership and move forward with that.”
Superb showings in 2022 catapulted Alfian/Ardianto in December to the top of the world rankings, where they stayed until two weeks ago, when they lost the spot to Asian Games gold medallists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty.
Alfian disagrees with the notion they struggled with the expectations of being world No.1.
“There’s always pressure, No.1, No.2 or even No.12,” he said. “We don’t think too much about that, we want to get back to what we were because we haven’t won a title after the All England. We are determined to fix our shortcomings.
“We hope to defend our crown but we also accept the competition is getting tougher. For now, like Rian said, we want to go back to being the best the version of ourselves.”