KOO Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong are shaping up to be the worlds best doubles pair, but a threat to their supremacy still remains in the shape of the South Koreans.
The Malaysian pair may have notched 30 wins in 32 matches over six tournaments, but they have lost twice in three meetings to South Koreas second-ranked pair of Lee Jae Jin-Hwang Ji Man. And they have yet to play World No 3 Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae.
In the recent All England that Kien Keat-Boon Heong won, they met South Koreas No 3 pair, Han Sang Hoon-Yoo Yeon Seong in the quarter-finals. Though the Malaysians won in two games, it was close.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong may have struck fear in many rivals with their aggressive play but their recently gained awesome credentials can only be complete if they subdue the Koreans.
However, national doubles coach Rexy Mainaky is confident Kien Keat-Boon Heong will be able to unleash their usual devastating game against the Korean pairs.
Rexy pointed out that when the Malaysian duo lost to Jae Jin-Ji Man in the Korea Open, it was in the Koreans backyard, and that Kien Keat-Boon Heong can match them on neutral ground.
I dont see the Koreans as a major threat.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong will do well if they meet Jae Sung-Yong Dae or their other combinations, said Rexy.
Jae Jin-Ji Mans win in Korea was due more to the fact that they had homeground advantage, and Kien Keat-Boon Heong were a little tired after going through the qualifying rounds in the back-to-back Malaysia and Korea Opens.
Our focus is not just on how to face the Koreans but all the top pairs.
Now, all of them will be gunning for Kien Keat-Boon Heong, and it is important they keep progressing to the next level.
They (Kien Keat-Boon Heong) have room for improvement. Unlike the All England, they had to play in three games (in the Swiss Open) from the second round onwards and this means others have started studying their ability and style.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong must continuously put in efforts to stay ahead. Kien Keat-Boon Heong's next assignment will be the Asian Championships in Johor Baru on April 10-15 where most of the worlds top pairs are expected to compete as the event is the last qualifying tournament for the World Championships in August.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong will aim to win the Asian Championships to improve their world ranking and ensure they are seeded in the World Championships.