Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chance for Khim Wah-Peng Soon to establish their partnership

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Attention will be on whether young Malaysian pair Lim Khim Wah-Chan Peng Soon can maintain the momentum of a fairy-tale run in the Thailand Open last month at the Taiwan Open beginning today.

In only their first appearance in a men’s doubles final of an Open tournament in Bangkok, Khim Wah-Peng Soon upset seasoned campaigners and top seeds Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah.

They defeated another former top Malaysian pair, Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng, in the quarter-finals and turned the tables on Ma­­­laysian Open runners-up Alven Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan of Indonesia in the semi-finals.
Crucial test: The Taiwan Open will be Chan Peng Soon (left) and Lim Khim Wah’s second international tournament this year. — Bernama

The Taiwan Open is their second international outing for the year and Khim Wah-Peng Soon have another shot at proving why their partnership should be retained.

Ironically, they again have Chong Ming-Choon Eng and the third seeded Indonesian pair in their half of the draw.

Also in the same half are world championship runners-up and top seeded Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung of South Korea. And national doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang said that he would consider it an impressive outing if Khim Wah-Peng Soon could make it to the semi-finals.

“They won a Grand Prix title in their first appearance in a final but we should not read too much into that. Their consistency and mental composure are not as steady as our more established pairs, among them Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boong Heong,” he said before leaving with the players for Taiwan on Monday.

“They play without any pressure in the men’s doubles as they also have roles to play in the mixed doubles. Their partnership is not permanent and we will evaluate them after a few tournaments. It will be great if they can have another good run ... we are not putting too much pressure on them.”

The other Malaysian doubles pairs in the fray are Ong Soon Hock-Hoon Thien How, Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen, Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong and second seeds Tan Fook-Wan Wah.

In the men’s singles, seniors Hafiz Hashim and Kuan Beng Hong together with four back-up players Liew Daren, Tan Chun Seang, Chong Wei Feng and Arif Latif, who are under the charge of Indonesian Hendrawan, will be out to make amends for their disappointing outing in the Macau Open last week.

Hafiz is not expected to face any trouble in the first round where he meets a qualifier while the second round should also be easy as he is likely to play against Japan’s Koichi Saeki.

However, he is not expected to get past the third round in a probable match against second seed Park Sung-hwan of South Korea. Hafiz was also shown the exit at the same stage in Macau.

Beng Hong should clear the first two rounds but it will be tough for him in an expected third round match against Indonesian Andre Kurniawan Tedjono.

Wei Feng, who plays against a qualifier in the first round, is not expected to get past the second-round match against Sung-hwan.

Daren is expected to face a tough time today against Hong Ji-hoon of South Korea while Chun Seang has an uphill task to get past top seed Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia. Macau Open runner-up Wong Choong Hann, seeded sixth, will be gunning for another final appearance from the same half of the draw.

Courtesy of The Star

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