Indonesia Open: After Draining Night, a Dawn

It is possible that, months down the line, even Rasmus Gemke will struggle to recall the significance of his brief sojourn at the KAPAL API Indonesia Open 2024.

Gemke had shocked himself on Wednesday, when, coming on court after spending the night mostly in the toilet with an upset stomach, he’d beaten Kodai Naraoka. His energy had so depleted that when he arrived at the training hall in the morning he lay down and slept for a while.

But these things are not uncommon in professional sport, and after Gemke gave another good account of his resolve, in a well-fought defeat to Toma Junior Popov in the second round, the episode of the upset stomach had somewhat receded in his mind. Something similar had happened a few months back at another tournament, and it’s now just a memory.

Rasmus Gemke

Yet, to have turned up on court and produced a high-quality performance against top opposition was admirable in itself, and Gemke could give himself credit.

“I have been a little sick from Tuesday to Wednesday morning — what can I say, my body didn’t feel that good yesterday, but somehow I managed to beat one of the best players in the world in two straight games,” said the world No.26.

“Yesterday was really tough when I arrived here and I went to the practice court and I just fell down on the floor and maybe lay down for 15 or 20 minutes, but you know, when the adrenaline comes to your body sometimes magic happens.”

Having felled one tough opponent in a long match, Gemke managed to find the reserves again against Popov as he took the match to a third game. But the physical effects of the previous day were to take its toll as the match wore on.

“I had some expectations for today’s match against Toma and it was a different challenge with a different playing style,” he said.

“I was sick and when you’re playing for one hour at the highest level it’s not good for your body. You definitely feel it in the long rallies, especially when you have to move fast all the time, I got slower. I think I was shaking a bit in the start. I was a little nervous, he (Toma) put a lot of pressure as I expected, but I think after a while I got into a little rhythm and think that I played solid but in the period where I had to dominate I made some stupid errors. When you play this level and especially in these conditions you need to play with some patience, instead of going for difficult ones and winners.

“We’re playing in the morning here and my body has to keep going after I woke up but of course I was a bit tired. It is very high intensity when playing there because of the conditions, so of course everybody can feel it in the body and you’re sweating in there and difficult to find a rhythm.”

After the struggle to get himself on court and still finish with a victory, how satisfied was he?

“You can always go in with a lower expectation, but still you know, deep down that you have to play the best game and that has been tough but I was really happy with the performance yesterday and yeah, that’s what happens sometimes.”

→Results (Day 3)
→Order of Play (Day 4)

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