WITH one title – men’s doubles – already assured, hopes are high on world No. 1 women’s doubles pair of Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty making it a double joy for the country in the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold Championships today.
Yesterday, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong made sure that the men’s doubles title would stay with the Malaysians when they checked into the final after a roller-coaster 21-13, 17-21, 21-11 win over Indonesians Alven Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan.
They will take on former internationals Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen, who ended the fairy-tale run of back-up shuttlers Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong with a 21-11, 21-15 win in the other semi-final.
Swiss Open champions Kien Keat-Boon Heong are gunning for their second Open title.
“It is great that we managed to make it an all-Malaysian final in the doubles tomorrow (today). At least, one title is in the bag,” said Kien Keat.
“Yes, we lost focus in the second game but, fortunately, we got our act right in the decider. So far, we have managed to stick to our game plan in this tournament.”
Boon Heong said that a win today would mean a lot to them although the tournament failed to attract the world’s top men’s doubles pairs.
“Many strong pairs are not here but it is important to win tomorrow (today). It will give us a huge boost ahead of the World Championships (in India next month),” said Boon Heong.
Independent players Teik Chai-Bin Shen, meanwhile, said victory over Kien Keat-Boon Heong today would help them in their bid to get more sponsors.
“We are grateful to Apacs and KLRC for sponsoring us for this tournament. We certainly did not expect to come this far,” said Bin Shen.
Said Teik Chai: “We have been sparring with the national team although we left BAM in January. Coach (Rexy Mainaky) has been supportive and we are grateful for that. Hopefully, we will be able to pull off the unexpected in the final.”
The duo have never beaten Kien Keat-Boon Heong in their last three meetings – the All-England, Swiss Open and Pahang Open this year.
Meanwhile, all eyes will certainly be on Indonesian Open champions Eei Hui-Pei Tty in their final against China’s Asian and world junior champions Ma Jin-Wang Xiaoli today.
Yesterday, Eei Hui-Pei Tty breezed through the semi-finals with a 21-10, 21-9 win over the uninspiring Singaporean pair of Frances Liu Fan-Vanessa Neo Yu Yan.
Ma Jin-Xiaoli also had no problems defeating the former top pair of Gao Ling-Wei Yili 21-13, 21-14.
Pei Tty said they were bracing themselves for a tougher time today.
“We have never played against them (Ma Jin-Xiaoli). We heard that they are a strong and powerful pair. Their speed is impressive too,” said Pei Tty. “The pressure will always be on us as the world number one pair but we will try to give it our best.”
China’s Ma Jin will also be seeking a double today as she is in the mixed doubles final with Zheng Bo.