National shuttler Goh Liu Ying (right), who has been battling knee injuries, will return to partner Chan Peng Soon in the mixed doubles at the Singapore Open starting on Wednesday. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: It’s been more than two months since Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying have played together competitively as a pair but they are ready to make it work once again – at the Singapore Open which begins on Wednesday.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying have only played one tournament together this year – the Malaysian Open in January, where they lost in the second round to Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto.
Since then, Peng Soon has been paired with 21-year-old Lai Pei Jing, achieving mixed results by making the final of the Austrian International Challenge in February and the quarter-finals of the Indian Open last week.
Liu Ying, who turns 25 on May 30, has been undergoing a programme with the National Sports Institute (NSI) to strengthen her injury-prone knees.
The Malacca-born Liu Ying is excited to make a comeback with Peng Soon, especially with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games from July 23-Aug 3 just around the corner.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back on court with Peng Soon. I’ve been making solid progress with my knees the past couple of months and I want to see what improvements I have made on court,” said Liu Ying.
“So far everything has been going well and my knees are holding up but it’s too early to tell without getting on court.
“With the Commonwealth Games coming up, I’m definitely hoping to get a good start as it would be a boost.
“But the draw has been tough on us as there are Chinese and South Korean pairs standing in our way. Still, I’m ready to give my best.”
The pair, who have only dropped one spot to No. 7 in the world despite the two months of inactivity, will face South Korea’s world No. 35 Shin Baek-cheol-Eom Hye-won in the first round.
A win would then pit them against China’s Liu Cheng-Bao Yixin or Indonesia’s Fran Kurniawan-Shendy Puspa Irawati in the second round.
Three other pairs – Tan Aik Quan-Lim Yin Loo, Ong Jian Guo-Lee Meng Yean and Mohd Adib Haiqal-Sannatasah Saniru – are also in the main draw.
In the men’s doubles, all eyes will be on world No. 10 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and world No. 15 Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah, who are going through a rough patch.
Thien How-Wee Kiong, who are seeded fourth, will start against Indonesia’s Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pankaryanira-Ade Yusuf while V Shem-Khim Wah will take on fifth-seeded scratch pair Kim Sa-rang-Yoo Yeon-seong of South Korea in the first round.
Four other pairs – Ow Yao Han-Tan Boon Heong, Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari, Chow Pak Chuu-Mak Hee Chun and Mohd Razif Latif-Vountus Indra Mawan – also start from the main draw.