KUALA LUMPUR: Koreans Ko Sung-hyun-Yoo Yeon-seung and Chinese Chai Biao-Zhang Nan of China are seen as the men’s doubles pairs who could play the spoilers’ role in this week’s Malaysian Open.
The two pairs did well to upset some big names in the just concluded Korean Open. But despite their promising starts, Malaysia’s doubles chief coach Rexy Mainaky is not about to name them yet as the new threats in the challenge for men’s doubles honours this season.
Rexy said that he would be in a better position to assess the ability of the second stringers in about six months’ time.
At the Korean Open, Sung-hyun-Yeon-seung pulled the rug from down under seventh seeds Howard Bach-Tony Gunawan of the United States en route to the quarter-finals while Chai Bioa-Zhang Nan eliminated fourth seeds Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark to reach the semi-finals.
Rexy added that he did not want to make the same mistake of jumping the gun as he did last year by singing praises to the national back-up pair Mak Hee Chun-Tan Wee Kiong, who fizzled out after one good performance.
“A pair can only be considered a threat if they perform consistently well in the first six months,” said Rexy.
“It’s best that I refrain from making any assessment on the pairs from South Korea and China. I will have a clearer picture of them after the next few tournaments. For now, I think, the fight for men’s doubles titles will still be among the established top pairs.”
In the Malaysian Open, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong are the top seeds ahead of Koreans Jung Jae-sung-Lee Yong-dae.
The Koreans are looking good for a successful defence of the title after a splendid show in their home Open, beating world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China in the final yesterday.