DOUBLES shuttler Lee Wan Wah says that Malaysia will not make the mistake of under-estimating their opponents in the Thomas Cup Finals after getting an easy ride into the quarter-finals from South Korea.
Tomorrow, Malaysia will be up against the winners of today's tie between Japan and Germany.
A full-strength Malaysia beat a deliberately weakened South Korea 4-1 yesterday to emerge as the Group B winners. Wah Wah and Choong Tan Fook were the losers in the tie against the scratch pair of Jung Jae-sung-Lee Jae-jin. They lost 22-20, 10-21, 16-21.
The Koreans fielded Athens Olympic Games silver medallist and third ranked singles player Shon Seung-mo for the first match and named doubles player Hwang Ji-man as the third singles.
A cruise: Mohd Hafiz Hashim eased past doubles specialist Hwang Ji-man.
“We knew that they would hand us the tie after seeing their line-up against England. But all I have to say to the Koreans is thank you,” said Wan Wah.
“We don't care how we won it. Now that we have reached the quarter-finals, the task now is to focus on our job ahead.”
Wan Wah added that the one-day break they get today will allow them to regroup
“We are in the elimination rounds and we cannot afford to take anyone lightly – even when we play against lower ranked team,” he said.
“Although South Korea fielded an under-strength side, we did not treat our matches lightly. This is a good attitude that I hope we will carry it throughout the tournament.
“We will not be in action tomorrow but it will not all be about relaxing. We have to prepare mentally for the quarter-finals. We are determined to go all the way.”
Singles coach Misbun Sidek said that Malaysia would continue to field a strong line-up to clear the quarter-final hurdle.
“Competing in the Thomas Cup Finals is a matter of pride. We will forget what happened today (on South Korea's decision to field a under-strength team) and look forward to strengthening our team's preparation,” he said.
“It could be Germany or Japan and the immediate job for us is to stabilize the team. I have assessed the players' performances over the last two days. They promised to do well but their game get chaotic when they are on the court. They must learn to control.”