Monday January 14, 2013
Indonesians Yonathan-Hendra plan to surprise Koo-Tan
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
KUALA LUMPUR: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong should be prepared for another surprise at the Maybank Malaysian Open, which begins at the Putra Stadium here tomorrow, as first round opponents Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki-Hendra Gunawan of Indonesia are planning to be party spoilers.
World No. 2 Kien Keat-Boon Heong were once again disappointing in the just-concluded Korean Open as they failed to live up to their second seeds billing. The Malaysians lost tamely, 17-21, 11-21 to South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae in the semi-finals.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong have now gone almost three years without winning a Super Series title. The pair’s last triumph was at the 2010 Malaysian Open.
And Kien Keat-Boon Heong, the men’s doubles top seeds for the Malaysian Open, may be in for a rough ride against a fired up Yonathan-Hendra.
The Indonesian pair were only formed last June but have been steadily progressing up the rankings and are currently ranked No. 20 in the world. They are also the second ranked Indonesian pair after Angga Pratama-Ryan Agung Saputra (No. 14) as former Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan are no longer an active pair.
The experienced Hendra, who previously formed a solid partnership with Alvent Yulianto, believes that there is no reason why they can’t beat Kien Keat-Boon Heong.
“Kien Keat-Boon Heong are no longer a feared pair in the world. I would say our standard is more or less the same,” said Hendra.
“They’re going through a poor run of form and playing in front of the home crowd is an added pressure for them. I am confident we can take advantage of that.
“It would be nice to get a win over them. Although we’re now in the top 20, we haven’t really achieved any outstanding results,” said Hendra.
“Our best results so far have been semi-final appearances at the Indonesian and Indian Open GP Gold last year.”
Yonathan believes being unseeded gives them the edge over Kien Keat-Boon Heong.
“I like being the underdog because it gives me more freedom to play my own game with less pressure and expectations on us,” said Yonathan.