KUALA LUMPUR: A painful lesson four years ago will be a good reminder for shuttler Woon Khe Wei to play with courage in her second World Championships in Guangzhou, China, from Aug 5-11.
This time, the 24-year-old Khe Wei will be playing with Vivian Hoo in the women’s doubles.
In her debut at the 2009 world meet in Hyderabad, she competed in the mixed doubles with Mohd Razif Abdul Latif but suffered a disastrous first round loss to Ukraine’s Valerij Atrasjtjenkov-Elena Prus.
Then, she suffered stage fright and allowed her Ukrainian opponents to intimidate her.
“I was very impatient when my partner and decided to take the lead in the match. I ended up making silly mistakes and losing the match. I do not plan to repeat this,” said Khe Wei.
“I was younger then and lacked the experience. I am more stable now although I allow this bad habit to creep into my game some times. I must be strong at heart – no matter how the matches unfold,” she added.
Khe Wei and Vivian, the 2011 Indonesian Open Grand Prix champions, are now ranked 13th in the world and are the country’s top pair.
Hopes are high on them to become the first women’s doubles pair since 2006 to reach the quarter-finals in Guangzhou. The last pair to make the breakthrough was Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui in Madrid in 2006.
The others playing in Guangzhou are Ng Hui Lin-Ng Hui Ern, Goh Liu Ying-Lim Yin Loo and Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho.
Khe Wei said that reaching the quarter-finals was a possibility but they did not want to treat anyone lightly in the early rounds.
The duo, seeded 14th, are lumped together in the same quarter with eighth seeds Eom Hye-won-Jang Ye-na of South Korea, ninth seeds Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta of Indonesian, third seeds Misaki Matsutomo- Ayaka Takahashi of Japan and Amelia-Fie Cho.
They will take on a qualifier in the opening round. If all go according to the form book, they are tipped to take on Hye-won-Ye-na for a place in the quarter-finals. They have beaten the Koreans three times in four meetings.
“The draw looks quite favourable for us to reach at least the quarter-finals. But we cannot underestimate anyone, including the Koreans although we hold an advantage over them. Hopefully, I will not muff up during the crucial times,” added Khe Wei.