Tan-Lai fall at last hurdle
Published on: Monday, April 15, 2019

SINGAPORE: Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing’s hopes of ending their 27-month title drought did not materialise when they went down tamely in the mixed doubles final of Singapore Badminton Open, here Sunday.

The national pair’s first final since winning at the Malaysia Masters tournament in January 2017, saw them play nervously including misjudging several services by their Thai rivals Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai, before bowing out in 21-14, 21-6.

“We didn’t think so much (about the title drought). We were already happy to reach the final here,” said Kian Meng when met after the 33-minute match. 

The pair will next be participating at the 2019 Badminton Asia Championships, which will take place at Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium in China from April 23 to 28.

The pair are now ranked 26th from 38th two weeks ago following their remarkable turnaround.

“The opponents played really well… at the same time we played not really good today,” Pei Jing  said when commenting on Sunday’s match which was held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium here.

The unseeded duo in the tournament, which has a total purse of US$355,000, now have an inferior head-to-head record with the Thai world No. 4 pair, winning only two out of their five encounters.

They had met previously at Daihatsu Yonex Japan Open 2018, Total BWF World Championships 2018, OUE Singapore Open 2017 and SCG Thailand Open 2016.

Tracing back their journey in the Singapore Open, Kian Meng-Pei Jing upset second seeds Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino in the first round and triumphed over another Japanese pair Kohei Gondo-Ayane Kurihara in the second round.

The pair subdued seventh seeds Hafiz Faizal-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia in the semis and another Indonesian pair Ricky Karandasuwardi-Pia Zebadiah Bernadet in the quarter-finals. – Bernama 


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