Jakarta: Indonesia's former Olympic and world champion Taufik Hidayat will this week bring down the curtain on a colourful career which made him one of badminton's biggest stars and an icon in his home country.
The 31-year-old will receive a rapturous and emotional send-off at the Indonesia Open in Jakarta, a tournament he has won six times with his distinctive, languid style which makes the fast-paced sport seem effortless.
However, Hidayat's chances of bowing out with a seventh win are low, with no major titles to his name in recent years and facing a tough field that includes the world number one and two, Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long of China.
And fans who had been hoping for one last showdown between Hidayat and his arch-rival Lin Dan were left disappointed after the Chinese star pulled out last week, saying he wanted to focus on the world championships in August.
Hidayat -- who famously wept at Athens 2004 as he was awarded Indonesia's first Olympic gold medal -- said he hoped spectators would support him "all the way, whatever the result is". He will start against a qualifier on Tuesday.
But the 2005 world champion is giving little away about his retirement plans, telling AFP: "I will remain focused on helping develop badminton, but the details are still secret."
Hidayat is renowned for his fiery temper and earlier in his career, he was notorious as the bad boy of badminton, drawing comparisons with outspoken tennis great John McEnroe.
He once split from the Indonesian Badminton Association and based himself in Singapore, and on one occasion was ordered off the courts by security staff after a stand-off with officials at the Southeast Asian Games in Thailand.
Hidayat reportedly attacked a spectator at the 2001 national championships, and he also walked out of a match during the 2002 Asian Games -- which he later won -- in a dispute over line-judging.
In 2006, the reigning Olympic champion stormed out of a match with Lin in Hong Kong after complaining about the line-judging. According to reports, he was also involved in a carpark scuffle during the 2004 Thomas and Uber Cup in Jakarta.
But a repeat of such incidents are unlikely at the Indonesia Open, which runs until Sunday in Jakarta, with prize money of $700,000 across all categories.
Lee and Chen are the favourites to win the men's title. Last year's winner, Indonesia's Simon Santoso, has pulled out, reportedly over a hip injury.
In the women's singles, defending champion Sainal Nehwal of India, who has won the tournament three times, faces a tough field which includes China's Li Xuerui, the number one seed and current Olympic champion.
China have the number one seeds in the mixed doubles in Xu Chen and Ma Jin, as well as the top women's pair, Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang.
In the men's doubles, top seeds Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark, who danced Gangnam Style after winning the Super Series Finals in Shenzhen last year, will play Russia's Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov in round one.