KUALA LUMPUR: Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying’s hopes of making the semi-finals of the Super Series Finals are hanging in the balance after a tame defeat to world No. 1 Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei.
A day after pulling off an impressive win over Hong Kong Open champions Chris Adcock-Garielle Adcock of England, Peng Soon-Liu Ying were just not up to the mark, losing 17-21, 12-21 in Group A on Thursday.
They started fairly well and managed to match the 2010 and 2011 champions.
At 17-17, they buckled, conceding four straight points to lose 17-21.
That dented their confidence and the reigning Olympic champions went on to close off the match with ease.
“I thought we did all right but we went missing when it mattered most … it is such a waste,” lamented Peng Soon.
“In the second game, the wind was against us and the Chinese pair simply dominated.
“They had so much power in their smashes and it was just incredibly hard to defend.
“Now we must do it the hard way … win our final group game.”
The world No. 8 have a mountain of a task awaiting them as they need a straightforward win over Indonesia’s Markis Kido-Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth to qualify.
The last time they met Markis-Pia, in the Korean Open in January this year, the Malaysia pair lost in rubber games.
“It will be tough because we respect Markis-Pia … having lost to them early this year,” said Liu Ying.
“The strategy, however, is to work Pia, who is not particularly fast on court.
“We must also stay focused and not play to their rhythm … just like what happened today.”
In men’s doubles, world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan stayed well on track after securing their second win – beating South Korea’s Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang 21-17, 22-20 – in Group A.
The Indonesians had beaten Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong on Wednesday.
Group B, however, was thrown wide open after world No. 4 Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakwa of Japan smashed their way past world No. 3 and defending champions Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen.
The Japanese pair just need to avoid losing in straight games to South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae to qualify.
The Koreans were given a lifeline as Japan No. 2 Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata conceded a walkover after Hirata was ruled out with a leg injury, which he suffered during Wednesday’s loss to Endo-Hayakawa.