Thursday October 25, 2012
Darren has no regrets over switch to doubles
PETALING JAYA: It was never easy for top junior shuttler Darren Isaac Devadass to switch from singles to doubles.
But the 17-year-old, who only decided to focus on doubles two years ago, has no regrets now as he is currently one of the top doubles shuttlers in the junior squad who can be relied upon to deliver the goods when the mixed team tournament of the World Junior Championships begin in Chiba, Japan, today.
“I started playing both singles and doubles when I was young. But when I was in Form 3, coach Yap (Kim Hock) selected me for the doubles and I had to make a decision,” said Darren.
“It was different at first ... solely competing in doubles, but I’ve no regrets now because I’m definitely a much better doubles player as the results have shown.”
Darren, however, will not be playing with Tai An Khang – his partner since the start of the year – as junior doubles coach Kim Hock has decided to pair him up with Ong Yew Sin.
Darren and An Khang have won the National Junior Circuit GP Finals and also competed in the Asian Juniors earlier this year.
But the lanky City boy believes he will have no problems partnering Yew Sin.
“I’ve played with Yew Sin before – for about six months last year – and we should have no problems combining,” said Darren.
“We communicated well and there was a good balance to our game ... and we’ve even won a few titles – the National Under-16 title and the Thailand Under-16 championship last year.
“We are aware that most pairs might be a lot stronger but we just want to go out, play well and at least make the semi-finals,” added Darren, who will double up for the mixed doubles with Yap Cheng Wen.
The Malacca-born Yew Sin feels that their toughest challenge will come from Indonesia – Malaysia’s potential opponents in the second round.
“The Indonesians have got a good head start on us and the two strongest pairs in the championships,” said Yew Sin.
“But we want to beat them and help the team reach the semi-finals.”
Besides Darren-Yew Sin, the other pairs in the fray are Tan Wee Gieen-An Khang and Dede Ryan Phillip-Marcel Simon.
Malaysia are in Group Y1 with France, Vietnam and Ukraine. They will take on the Ukrainians today before facing Vietnam and France tomorrow.