Is there a leftie advantage in badminton?

Wimbledon Domination by Left Handed players

A recent article in BBC by Greg Rusedski suggests that left handers have an advantage when it comes to Wimbledon titles. Although on an average only 10% of the world is left-handed, 23% of the titles have gone to left-handers.

What about Left-handed players in Badminton?

The story pans out differently when it comes to badminton. Here we look at a legendary badminton tournament The All England Championship. Till 1989 were all titleholders but one were right-handed players. This was the time Europeans and Chinese started actively taking up badminton. In addition, in the year 1992 Barcelona, badminton became a part of the Olympics, thus becoming more popular than ever. We looked at the All England Champions since 1989. And surprisingly, the tennis stats hold up. 23%, an exact 23% of titles (just like the Wimbledon) are won by Lefties. Out of 54 titles, 10 are held by lefties when in fact they would be expected to win only 5. The champions include 3 Men and 2 Women – most recent being the Spaniard Carolina Marin.
Out of 54 titles, 10 are held by lefties when in fact they would be expected to win only 5.

And out of 35 All England Champions (on average 1.5 All England Titles/person), 5 Lefties are present (when the expected number should be ~3 Lefties). Again the 2 factors account for this,

1. More lefties are winning: 10 when the expected number is 5
2. Lefties are winning more titles per individual (average of 2) compared to Right-handed players (average of 1.5)

What is the leftie advantage?

Since the world is full of right-handed individuals, our world is often designed for them. To skew the effect further, we think and map the world like right-handed people. So both left-handed or right-handed racquet players most often train with and optimise their games to beat to right-handed players. When it comes to professional players their games and strategy often have a high intuitive component, which completely breaks down when it comes to playing left-handers. So when a player of immense skill and talent emerges in the sport also happens to be left-handed, they are often going to dominate the sport for the significant period of time. For Delhi Acers, this is good news – since we have the left-handed Jwala Gutta representing us in mixed doubles. With a left-right combination our mixed doubles team will be dangerous.

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