* Malaysian pair shaping up well after finishing runners-up in Swiss Open
Last year Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah gave Malaysia plenty to cheer when they bagged the men’s doubles title in the Maybank Malaysian Open Superseries Premier.
While the game has come under close scrutiny with the resignation of several senior shuttlers from the national team, Malaysia can look upon the men’s doubles pair of Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong who did pretty well to finish runners-up in Swiss Open Grand Prix which ended in Basel on Sunday.
The Malaysians, seeded six, battled for 63 minutes in the final against China’s third seeds Cai Yun-Lu Kai before the Chinese pair came off 21-19, 14-21, 21-17 winners.
The gallant performance by V Shem-Wee Kiong has raised Malaysia’s hopes of in the USD500,000 Maybank Malaysia Open Superseries Premier which will be held at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from March 31-April 5.
Playing in their first final of the year, the Malaysians who are now ranked World No 56 after moving up 25 spots, gave a creditable performance to reach the final of the Swiss Open – their first final this year. Their previous best this year was reaching the semi-finals in the Malaysian Grand Prix Open Gold held in Kuching in January.
Despite the defeat to Cai Yun-Lu Kai, the Malaysians walked tall in Basel after suffering a second round defeat in the prestigious All England Championships in Birmingham a week earlier.
National doubles chief coach Jeremy Gan was more than pleased with the pair’s performance for their “commitment” on court.
“They have shown overall improvement in their game but they need a little more boldness plus consistency. I am sure they will get better as their confidence level is also high,” said Jeremy.
In the semi-finals the Malaysians made short-work of Indonesia’s Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 21-19, 21-19 to reach the final – which gave V Shem-Wee Kiong, the Commonwealth Gold medallists, a tremendous boost to their confidence. They also won the bronze medal at the Incheon Asian Games in September.
V Shem-Wee Kiong qualified for the quarter-finals after defeating England’s Matthew Nottingham-Harley Towler (World No 63) 21-17, 22-20 in 63 minutes. They made the last four with a 23-21, 21-18 win over Japan’s Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko, ranked No 48 in the world.
With the pair shaping up well after V Shem’s knee injury in October last year, it certainly augurs well for Malaysia to pose a strong challenge for the men’s doubles in the Maybank Malaysia Open.
“They (V Shem-Wee Kiong) must be more focused and this will be given special attention in training. With the home crowd and their determination to do well in the Malaysian Open our chances are as good as any of the other rivals.”
Last year V Shem won the Malaysian Open men’s doubles title with his former partner Lim Khim Wah.
Finishing runners-up in the Swiss Open is a big boost for V Shem-Wee Kiong as they were only given a top four target in
the Swiss Open but instead they did well to finish top two.
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles final in the Swiss Open, India’s K. Srikanth, lived up to his billing as the top seed with a three-set win over second Vikor Axelsen of Denmark, winning 21-15, 12-21, 21-14 in 47 minutes.
China’s rising star Sun Yu, seeded six, took the women’s singles title with a straight sets 21-16, 21-12 win over eighth seed Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand.
RESULTS SWISS OPEN (All Finals)
K. Srikanth (Ind) beat Viktor Axelsen (Den) 21-15, 12-21, 21-14
Cai Yun-Lu Kai (Chn) beat Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) 21-19, 14-21, 21-17
Sun Yu (Chn) beat Busanan Ongbumrungpan (Tha) 21-16, 21-12
Bao Yixin-Tang Yuangyting (Chn) beat Ayane Kurihara-Naru Shinoya 21-6, 17-21, 21-17
Lu Kai-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) beat Liu Cheng-Bao Yixin (Chn) 17-21, 22-20, 21-13