MALAYSIA’s Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong never made the final of a single Super Series event this year.
But yesterday, the national men’s doubles players stormed into the final of the season finale Super Series Masters Finals at the Likas Indoor Stadium with an astounding 22-20, 21-14 win over compatriots Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari.
They will now take on Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung — who beat world champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan 22-20, 15-21, 21-16 in the other semi-final — and the stage is set for an explosive men’s doubles final.
Yesterday’s win was sweet revenge for Kien Keat-Boon Heong, who lost to Zakry-Fairuzizuan in the Hong Kong Open semi-finals earlier this month.
Numerous unforced errors and tiredness saw Zakry-Fairuzizuan dishing out a weak performance, making it even easier for Kien Keat-Boon Heong.
“It is good to finally make the final,” said a delighted Kien Keat.
“We are not at our peak physical conditions ... so it is great to have come this far. We have exceeded our target.”
Besides the semi-final finish in the Hong Kong Open and their sole title in Macau, it has been a trying time for Kien Keat and Boon Heong so far this year — one which has seen them suffering from poor form, turbulent partnership and emotional strain.
Given those circumstances and the fact that they lacked training, Boon Heong was extremely happy that they have made it to the final.
“I wish we had more time to train but we were kept busy after the Beijing Olympic Games competing in one tournament after another. It has been a tiring journey,” said Boon Heong.
“Now we have a shot at winning a title. It is important to do well because it will be the biggest achievement for us this year if we win it.”
On their opponents today, Kien Keat said: “The Koreans are a strong pair.
“They are in good form and it will not be easy but we will give our best.”
Fairuzizuan was dejected that they failed to do better against Kien Keat-Boon Heong.
“We played late night yesterday (against England’s Chris Adcock-Robert Blair) and we had to play again in the afternoon. It affected our game,” said Fairuzizuan.
“It’s disappointing to make all those mistakes. Koo and Tan were so fast today. The season has ended and our main goal next year is the World Championships.”