Australian Open: Kusumawardana Enjoying New Avatar

Going by his more relaxed on and off court demeanour, it’s safe to say former Indonesian men’s doubles player Pramudya Kusumawardana is having a good time in Australia.

The only surprise for him however – it’s in coaching he seems to have found his calling.

Asian champion in 2022 with Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan, Kusumawardana quit his national team at the end of last year and moved to Sydney to pursue studies in sports science and take up the head coach role at the Elite Badminton Academy.

“Actually I’m quite surprised how much I’ve liked it,” revealed the 23-year-old after making a competitive return in men’s doubles at the SATHIO GROUP Australian Open 2024 on Tuesday alongside another former Indonesian player Andika Ramadiansyah. “Back in the day I always said I’d never become a coach but right now if you ask me, coaching seems more interesting.

“I’ve gained a lot of skills here besides badminton, so it’s been fun and also a kind of restart in terms of the badminton society here. Everybody is just playing for fun, it’s less stressful and I’m enjoying that part.”

At the Quay Centre, Kusumawardana and Ramadiansyah cleared the first round 21-17 21-12 against Kenneth Choo/Lim Ming Chuen. Their immediate target is doing well in the interim.

The 26-year-old Ramadiansyah, who played mixed doubles for Indonesia with various partners up to 2021, said: “We want to try first and see where this takes us. I’ve learned a lot from him. With Pram’s experience in this discipline, I’m understanding how to play men’s doubles properly.”

Ramadiansyah and Kusumawardana during their match.

Kusumawardana admitted to having the initial jitters after being out of the HSBC BWF World Tour for half a year.

“To be honest, I was a little anxious before the match. With a different flag, kind of different feel but in the end it was okay, not as bad as I thought,” he said.

“In Australia, we’ve got a lot of international players as well. Compared to Indonesia, maybe it’s not as competitive but it’s still a good level and we are trying to get better.”

One more win could set up a last eight clash with their former seniors Muhammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan.

“It won’t be until the quarterfinals. We should think about the next step, not too far ahead,” said Kusumawardana before adding: “But obviously we will be looking forward to it if it happens.”

So can we see this partnership at more events going forward?

“For now, it’s one tournament at a time. Our goal is to just have fun on court.”

Kusumawardana will be back on court Wednesday in the mixed doubles, partnering Nozomi Shimizu against Indonesians Jafar Hidayatullah/Aisyah Salsabila Putri Pranata.

Results (Day 1)

Order of play (Day 2)

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