Singapore: The mixed doubles No. 2 seeds Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai pulled off the biggest badminton victory of their young career to beat World No. 1 and Rio Olympic champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia in the Singapore Open final on Sunday.
The World No. 8 needed only 36 minutes to outlast the No. 1 seeds 21-19, 21-18. It was the Malaysian pair’s first victory over the two-time world champions, and also a timely confidence boost for the duo ahead of the World Championships that will kick off in Nanjing on July 30th.
“This definitely gives us a huge boost of confidence heading to the World Championships. However, we will need to stay focus and take it one game at a time,” said Shevon.
“The victory means a lot of us because this was our first Singapore Open title, it was really a good experience for us and I hope there will be more to come,” added Shevon.
Shevon was completely in control at the net during the match while Goh Soon Huat was unleashing strong smashes whenever he got the chances.
“Yes, Tontowi/Liliyana were more experience than us, that’s why we were on the offensive and tried managed to stay steady throughout the match,” admitted Shevon.
Goh Soon Huat on the other hand felt honored to be able to play against the Indonesian pair.
“Not only that they are World’s No. 1, but also Olympic champions. It was an honor to play against them especially before Liliyana’s retirement,” said Goh.
Goh/Lai who won the German Open title in March, pocketed US$28,045 as the Singapore Open champions.
In women’s singles final, Japan’s No. 5 seed Sayaka Takahashi saved four set point in the first set to triumph 25-23 against No. 7 seed Gao Fangjie of China. Takahashi came off a 2-8 deficit in the second set to rally from behind to beat Gao 21-14 in the second set.
In the all Japanese women’s doubles final, No. 5 seeds Ayako Sakuramoto/Yukiko Takahata of Japan overcame unseeded Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida 16-21, 24-22, 21-13 to win the Singapore Open crown.