BIRMINGHAM: While world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei can return home with a big smile on his face, the same cannot be said of Malaysia’s under-performing men’s doubles pairs at the All-England.
Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah and Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong came here with high hopes of doing well but both pairs fell short.
Thien How-Wee Kiong, ranked No. 7 in the world, failed to get their game going in the quarter-finals and surrendered meekly to Indonesia’s Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Markis Kido.
The 24-year-old Wee Kiong said that they were emotionally affected by unfavourable service calls, which led to their defeat.
That however should not have happened to a pair of their standard. They obviously have more to work on if they are to shoulder Malaysia’s doubles challenge in the future.
V Shem-Khim Wah, on the other hand, were a bigger letdown.
After dishing out their best ever performances en route to winning the Malaysian Open in January, they just couldn’t reproduce that standard in the German Open two weeks ago.
And they found their confidence shattered after blowing a first game opportunity against Danish veterans Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen to lose in the first round of the All-England.
Fortunately, V Shem-Khim Wah, who have split their partnership twice in the past, handled defeat well and have vowed to bounce back from this slump.
“I guess we were unlucky to meet Boe-Mogensen a third time this year in the first round, after the Korean and Malaysian Opens,” said Khim Wah.
“When you play the same opponents too often, there will be some sort of psychological battle … and we just lost.
“But we aim to do better and we’ll definitely hand it back to them if we meet again.
“Our goal now is the Malaysian Open GP Gold (March 25-30) and we’re aiming for another win as defending champions.”
V Shem also said that with Koo Kien Keat now out of the BA of Malaysia (BAM) stable, their target is to achieve the status of top-ranked Malaysian pair in the near future.
“We definitely want to become the new No. 1 pair in Malaysia now that Kien Keat has left,” said V Shem.
“This is a setback for us but I believe we can keep getting better as long as there is communication between us.”
Although it is encouraging for V Shem-Khim Wah to have set high standards for themselves, the pair who are currently No. 15 in the world need to do better than just aim for success on home soil.
With the Thomas Cup not more than two months away, both pairs, who are expected to be on the plane to New Delhi, still have a lot to work on, and time is running out.