PETALING JAYA: Upcoming mixed doubles pair Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing have probably the toughest draw of all the Malaysians competing in the World Championships in Guangzhou, China, from Aug 5-11.
But the duo, both 21, are not too worried. The world No. 18 intend to give a good account of themselves in their debut appearance.
The pair do not have the luck of the draw as they take on China’s Tao Jiaming-Tang Jinhua in the first round. A win will pit them against 15th seeds Qiu Zihan-Bao Yixin, also of China, in the second round.
“Our main goal is to make a breakthrough in Guangzhou. We hope to score an upset or two over the higher-ranked pairs,” said Pei Jing.
“We’ve improved quite a bit and are fully prepared for the tournament.
“We’ve also done considerably well this year. But we’re always pushing and motivating ourselves to do better,” added Pei Jing. Aik Quan-Pei Jing started the year at No. 39 in the world and were not given the chance to compete in the All-England, the year’s first major tournament.
They, however, managed to claw their way up the rankings by reaching the quarter-finals of the Opens in Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand. Their best performance to date was making the final of the Malaysian Open GP Gold in May before losing narrowly to Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan-Vita Marissa.
Aik Quan-Pei Jing are now the second-ranked Malaysian pair after world No. 5 Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.
“We want to prove ourselves worthy as the No. 2 Malaysian pair. We’re really excited to qualify for our first world meet. It wasn’t easy at all as we missed a number of tournaments at the start of the season,” said Aik Quan.
“Now that we’re in, we don’t want to just go there and lose in the early rounds. It’s important to make the best of this opportunity and get some good results. Our target is to break into the top 10 by the end of the year,” added Aik Quan.