KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran men’s doubles pair Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah were sent packing in the first round of the Singapore Open yesterday.
The duo gave an erratic performance and were beaten 9-21, 21-17, 10-21 by local favourites Hendri Kurniawan Saputra-Hendra Wijaya in 37 minutes.
The defeat was a setback for Tan Fook-Wan Wah ahead of the world championships in Hyderabad in August. They are currently ranked 10th in the world and had hoped for a good showing in the Singapore Open to get a good seeding in the world championships.
Wan Wah said that the Indonesia-born players adapted better to the windy conditions in the stadium.
“We went into the tournament having had beaten them twice before. But we found it difficult to cope with the strong draught in the stadium in the first game,” said Wan Wah in a telephone interview.
“They had better control of the shuttle. This is a setback but we will be out to play better in the Indonesian Open next week.”
However, two other world championship-bound pairs — Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng — made it a great day for Malaysia when they marched to the second round in style.
Third seeds Kien Keat-Boon Heong tore apart Poland’s Michal Logosz-Robert Mateusiak, winning 21-12, 21-10 in just 24 minutes. And Chong Ming-Choon Eng advanced with a convincing 21-13, 21-17 win over Switzerland’s Jurgen Koch-Peter Zauner.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong will take on England’s Anthony Clark-Nathan Robertson for a place in the quarter-finals while Chong Ming-Choon Eng have a match against Hendri-Hendra.
Malaysia also have another pair in the second round in former national players Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen, who warded off a strong challenge from South Koreans Cho Gun-woo-Han Sang-hoon to win 21-6, 9-21, 21-16. They will take on Taiwanese Fang Chieh-min-Lee Sheng-mu today.
The first round of the men’s doubles saw the shock exit of All-England champions Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung. The South Koreans were beaten 13-21, 20-22 by the Chinese scratch pair Guo Zhengdong-Xu Chen.