PETALING JAYA: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif can make it to the men’s doubles semi-finals of the All-England badminton championships if they can stand up to their opponents’ intimidation.
National doubles chief coach Rexy Mainaky believes it will be all about psychological warfare from the quarter-final stage onwards.
Third seeds Kien Keat-Boon Heong lived up to expectations when they reached the quarter-finals after defeating compatriots Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen 21-18, 21-14 in just 30 minutes in Birmingham on Thursday.
The 2007 All-England champions will take on Denmark’s Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen for a place in the last four.
The world number four Danish pair have improved by leaps and bounds since winning the Korean Open title in January.
Priot to their Korean Open exploits, the Danes had lost twice to Kien Keat-Boon Heong at the 2007 Danish and the Philippines Opens.
Fairuzizuan-Zakry enjoyed an easy ride into the last eight when Danish pair Simon Mollyhus-Anders Kristiansen conceded after taking a 21-10 lead in the first game of their second round match. Mollyhus retired because of a twisted ankle.
Fairuzizuan-Zakry will take on South Koreans Hwang Ji-man-Han Sang-soon for the first time.
Rexy has warned his two pairs not to pay too much respect to their opponents.
“Koo and Tan played so much better in the second round after their jittery start in the opener. It was good to see a more solid game from them,” Rexy said in a telephone interview from Birmingham.
“Their next opponents have done well but our men must not let it worry them. They should not be intimidated.
“Under the 21-point scoring system, the game can go either way because the standard of these players is about the same. It all depends on how our players handle the pressure.
“It will be uncharted waters for Zakry and Fairuzizuan against the Koreans, who are being groomed as a future pair for the country. But if Zakry-Fairuzizuan can control the game, they can take down anyone.”
The other two quarter-finals also promise to be mouth-watering affairs.
Former All-England champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China will take on Denmark’s Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen and Indonesians Bona Septano-Mohd Ahsan will square off against and South Korea’s scratch pair Lee Yong-dae-Shin Baek-cheol.