ODENSE (Denmark): The Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong combination is not making any impressions yet, but doubles star Tan Boon Heong is not about to be fooled.
Making their debut and seeded eighth at the Denmark Open, Yong-dae-Yeon-seong barely scraped through the first round against home pair Mads Conrad Petersen-Mads Pieler Kolding, winning in three close games.
That partnership, which is still shaky at best, improved slightly with a 21-19, 21-7 win over another Danish duo Anders Skaarup Rasmussen-Kim Astrup Sorensen in the second round on Thursday.
The 26-year-old Boon Heong however believes that it's still too early to judge the Korean pair.
Boon Heong and partner Koo Kien Keat, gave themselves a much-needed confidence boost with yet another solid win over Germany’s Michael Fuchs-Johannes Schoettler.
The fourth seeds who are under pressure by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) combined well and seemed to enjoy their game as they won 21-14, 21-19 to set up a quarter-final clash against Yong-dae-Yeon-seong.
“The Korean pair are probably still new and a few scrappy performances is definitely normal,” said Boon Heong.
“It could be that their opponents aren’t the highest quality ones as well.
“They know us well as we’ve played both Yong-dae and Yeon-seong many times in the past, and they will be even more fired up than usual when they face us.
“Ultimately we just need to prepare ourselves for a tough fight and make a few adjustments in our game.
“In fact, I thought we were improving … the performance against the Germans was certainly better than the first round showing.
“We just lost a little focus in the second game because they changed the shuttlecock to a slower one and we needed to adapt,” added Boon Heong.
While South Korea’s new pairs are still shaky, China’s new partnerships – Fu Haifeng-Hong Wei and Cai Yun-Chai Biao were on fire.
The latter defeated fifth seeds and compatriots Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan 22-20, 21-14 while Haifeng-Hong Wei overcame Japan’s Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda 21-13, 21-17.