PETALING JAYA: Women’s doubles shuttler Vivian Hoo is fired up about playing mixed doubles matches alongside Tan Wee Kiong.
The doubles coaches – Paulus Firman, Pang Cheh Chang and Jeremy Gan – have decided to let Wee Kiong partner Vivian in the mixed doubles in a bid to strengthen the entire doubles squad.
And Vivian who dabbled in the mixed doubles category as a junior, picking up a bronze in the 2008 World Junior Championships with Mak Hee Chun, believes that trying out in the mixed partnership will only help her improve in the women’s doubles where she partners Woon Khe Wei.
“It’s been a while since I actually took mixed doubles seriously but there is no harm trying,” said Vivian.
“I believe that competing in the mixed doubles will make me a more complete player … since I’ll need to revert from my regular role of playing at the back, with Khe Wei, to covering the front.
“It’ll be quite new to me and honestly I don’t know what to expect yet as I haven’t had that many sessions with Wee Kiong because he has been playing in tournaments in Europe.
“But I’m looking forward to the challenge, and the Hong Kong Open (Nov 19-24) will be a good place to see where we stand.”
Wee Kiong, who partners Hoon Thien How in the men’s doubles, is also no stranger to mixed doubles, having won the Asian Junior title in 2007 with Khe Wei.
There are also several top women players who can perform dual roles – such as China’s Ma Jin and Zhao Yunlei and Danish duo Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl, whom Vivian hopes to learn from.
The 23-year-old who will also resume her partnership with Khe Wei at the Hong Kong meet – their first tournament since the World Championships in August, is eager to polish off the rust as soon as possible.
“It’s not easy to be out of action for so long because you lose that tournament edge,” said Vivian.
“But I look at it positively because Khe Wei and I have been going through a good and systematic training during that time.
“With the time off from tournaments, we have more time to improve ourselves and work on something new – in this case our defence, and we should be more solid and ready for the Hong Kong Open,” added Vivian.