Shi Yu Qi, or Shi Yuqi, the westernized version of his name, is a 23-year-old badminton player from China that has been performing well recently. Shi Yu Qi is a rising star from China whose one of the top contenders for China’s Olympic men’s singles players.
What makes Shi Yu Qi such a good player? In this post, we’ll take a look at how Shi Yu Qi plays badminton and different strategies that allows him to play at such a high level.
As of April 27, 2019,
Date of Birth: February 28, 1996
Racket Model: Li Ning Turbo Charging N7-II
World Ranking: 2
Highest Ranking: 2
Career Titles: 8
Dominant Hand: Right
Type of Player: Men’s Singles
Strengths and Weaknesses
Shi Yu Qi is all around a good player. Strong backcourt, strong frontcourt, good offense, and defense, etc. There are specific points of Shi Yu Qi that do stand out though which I will discuss.
One of Shi Yu Qi’s strongest points is his attack. A loud smash coupled with decent net play allows Shi Yu Qi to use his aggression to win.
Shi Yu Qi’s smash is quite notable, especially at the backhand side. He can play a cross or straight smash filled with power and accuracy. After his smash, he can play an excellent net shot or push shot putting even more pressure on his opponent.
Speaking of follow up and net shots, I noticed that Shi Yu Qi plays very well at the backhand side. As mentioned before, his smash at the backhand side is powerful, but his backhand net shot is also quite good both offensively and defensively. He can play deceptive net shots similar to Lin Dan’s on the offense and on the defensive, he can still return net shots really close to the net. I’ve actually studied and attempted to copy Shi Yu Qi’s defensive net shot enough that I can make it an asset to my game as well.
One of the things I learned from watching Shi Yu Qi is also his interception of push shots specifically on the backhand side. His ability to jump and smash it with his forehand when getting pushed allows him to switch the pressure away from himself. Although many players to do this, I was quite surprised when watching Shi Yu Qi smash extremely flat push shots. It takes some real flexibility to do that.
That being said, Shi Yu Qi does have weaknesses which prevent him from consistently winning and taking the number one spot. One of Shi Yu Qi’s main weaknesses is his experience. Being so young and having not played as many matches as players such as Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, his mentality and ability to diversify is quite low.
I would often see Shi Yu Qi getting very frustrated or making multiple mistakes in a row after one problem. Shi Yu Qi cannot also strategize very well. This was seen quite prominent in the 2018 World Championships where Kento Momota convincingly beat him in the finals as a result of poor strategy.
During the match, Shi Yu Qi found that his smashes and regular playing style were not getting through to Kento Momota whose defense was quite good. And the strategy he changed to where he would try to move Kento Momota through lifts and net shots performed even worse. Shi Yu Qi has been seen to run into the same problems when playing against players such as Chen Long as well. It’s a direct result of lack of experience and knowing what to do against different types of players.
Another weak point I found in Shi Yu Qi was his defense but more specifically his speed and recovery. Shi Yu Qi would often miss smashes to his backhand side, or if he gets it, he would be slow to get up and get the next shot.
Knowing some of Shi Yu Qi’s strengths and weaknesses allow us to analyze how he plays around them. I hinted in the strength and weakness section that Shi Yu Qi prefers to play an aggressive style.
Shi Yu Qi smashes quite a lot at the back and attempts to intercept push shots as much as possible to avoid being put on the defensive. Shi Yu Qi also tries to keep the game on his backhand side of the court because his smash and net play in that area is his strength.
To cover for Shi Yu Qi’s defense, I often see him avoid shots like clears and drops when he’s on the offense since he does not want to give any chance for his opponent to retaliate. Sometimes, this does make Shi Yu Qi more predictable to play against and thus, easier to win against.
One thing I also noticed from Shi Yu Qi is how much he jumps. Although he doesn’t jump as much at the front net killing, he almost always jumps at the back of the court. He is even jumping when getting push shotted! This is part of the reason why he can’t recover as fast as he has to land first. Jumping, along with smashing, a lot also tires Shi Yu Qi out a lot more quickly than other players.
Luckily, Shi Yu Qi’s fitness and physicality has been noted as quite good among other badminton players and even noted as one of his strong points. I personally did not put his endurance as a strength because his playstyle puts his stamina on par with other players. If Shi Yu Qi could shift his strategy a little and make his footwork more efficient, he could definitely take the number one spot and hold it.
Shi Yu Qi is a rising star, meaning that he has gained some recognition and attention only recently. Being only 23 years old, Shi Yu Qi has not won enough tournaments to have achievements rivaling those of Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan. However, his 8 career titles are still worth mentioning since they are representations of his success as a player.
Here are his 8 gold medals:
- 2019 Yonex Swiss Open
- 2018 HSBC BWF World Tour Finals
- 2018 Yonex All England Open
- 2018 Yonex-Sunrise Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta India Open
- 2016 Bitburger Badminton Open
- 2016 Yonex French Open
- 2016 Yonex Sunrise Indonesian Masters
- 2014 Badminton Asia Youth U19 Championships
Although Shi Yu Qi does not have a large number of titles, if he continues to improve, he will definitely get more. Good luck to him and I hope to see him play even better at the highest levels soon!
Shi Yu Qi, a rising star from China with aggressive play has undoubtedly shown that he could compete at the highest levels. Once he improves his defense and ability to play variance, he will become unstoppable. Well, if he improves his mentality and other players don’t grow just as much.
Who should I study next? Let me know in the comment section below and have a great day!