How long will Ivanov and Sozonov play together?
It’s fine, they’re friends.
They’re also the top two Russian MD players by far, so no real chance to mix up partnerships. Not that they need to, they’ve had good results, just not able to compete in Asia.
The thing that makes it tough for Sozonov is that Ivanov needs him to play in a very specific way, and one that is high risk. Sozonov also personally seems to enjoy playing the really fine margin shots, which of course leads to mistakes. Ivanov is a difficult character to manage so he needs to play with someone who can either stand up to him and boss him around a bit like he does to his partner, or just be able to tolerate his berating, and Sozonov can handle the latter.
Ivanov is also a bit too big to move around swiftly and be able to change up front court / back court with his partner, and in fact his front court play is very basic so it doesn’t free up Sozonov to be creative in different parts of the court. I’ve actually wondered how good Sozonov’s smash is, and i believe that for a front court player he can potentially smash really hard, but he’s never able to use his smash much as Ivanov will still smash harder most likely, and also is not very comfortable when he finds himself at the front.