Wednesday November 14, 2012
Goh bemoans lost opportunity to cross swords with nemesis from China
By RAJES PAUL
KUALA LUMPUR: China’s second seeds Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei have withdrawn from the China Open, which begins in Shanghai today, but Malaysia’s top mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are not jumping for joy.
Liu Ying said she would have preferred to have the Chinese for company in the same quarter (they would have crossed path in the last eight).
“We’ve lost to them in all four previous outings. We do not fear them but we were hoping to face them again. It would have been better for us if they had taken part,” lamented Liu Ying.
Without the Chinese stars, Peng Soon-Liu Ying’s main challengers in their quarter are likely to be Riky Widianto-Puspita Richi Dilii of Indonesia.
If they get past the duo, Peng Soon-Liu Ying will face the more dangerous Indonesian pair of Ahmad Tantowi-Lilyana Natsir in the semi-finals.
The Malaysians have lost all four previous meetings against Ahmad-Lilyana and a first breakthrough win against the World No. 3 will do wonders to their morale after their failures in the last two Super Series in Europe.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying went down tamely to China’s Xu Chen-Ma Jin in the semi-finals of the Denmark Open and suffered a first round defeat to China’s Tao Jiaming-Tang Jinhua in the French Open. Liu Ying, who is ranked fourth in the world with Peng Soon, said they want to justify their world ranking.
“Fourth is our highest ranking in the world so far and we hope to give a better account of ourselves. We won the Japan Open in the absence of several top players ... hopefully, we can achieve a satisfying result here,” she said
Xu Chen-Ma Jin are in the top half of the draw and their main challengers will be Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen.
Besides the mixed doubles, Malaysia will also be hoping for a breakthrough from world No. 4 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in the men’s doubles. After reaching the finals of the Japan Open and Denmark Open, hopes are high on them to go one step better.
The duo have a relatively easier draw as their main rivals will only be top seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark and China’s Zhang Nan-Chai Biao.
The lower half is packed with heavyweights, with second seeds and four-time world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China set to battle with three Korean pairs – Denmark Open champions Shin Baek-cheol-Yoo Yeon-seong; French Open winners Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun and Japan Open champions Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang – and two Malaysians pairs – Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Peng Soon-Lim Khim Wah.
It will be tough for Malaysia’s Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng to go far in the men’s singles in the presence of top seed Chen Long and second seed Chen Jin of China.
French Open champion Daren is in the same quarter as former world champion Chen Jin while Wei Feng has a tricky first round match against Sho Sasaki of Japan.