Malaysia's Ho Yen Mei in action against Taiwan's Lee Chia Hsin in the girls' singles event of the World Junior Championships in Alor Setar on Sunday. Yen Mei won the first round match 21-17, 14-21, 21-11. - CHAN BOON KAI/ The Star
ALOR SETAR: It’s crunch time for Malaysia’s Ho Yen Mei.
The 18-year-old will be bidding to stamp her mark in her final appearance at the World Junior Championships here.
But she faces an uphill task against China’s Qin Jinjing in the girls’ singles second round on Monday and it will boil down to just which Yen Mei shows up for the match?
“It all depends on her ... what she wants to do in the match. Fight or surrender. Logically, China should win but it’s up to Yen Mei to give it a good fight,” said girls’ singles coach Rony Augustinus.
“Win or lose does not matter to me. What is most important is how Yen Mei approaches the match, and what she does on court. Whatever the result, good or bad, we can use it as homework to improve her game.”
Yen Mei has a one win, one loss record against Jingjing. Her win came at the Asian Youth Under-17 Championships in Guangzhou in 2011 while Jingjing exacted revenge on her at the Maybank International Under-19 Badminton Championships last year.
“I think it’s 50-50. I’ve beaten her before ... but she beat me two years later. She’s improved a whole lot more and at a faster rate compared to me. That’s why she’s a bigger threat now,” said Yen Mei.
In her opening match on Sunday at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium, Yen Mei was stretched to three games before eventually overcoming Taiwan’s Lee Chia Hsin 21-17, 14-21, 21-11 in 48 minutes.
A win over Jingjing will set her up against Japan’s Rira Kawashima or Denmark’s Julie Dawall Jakobsen in the third round before an expected clash against Dane Mia Blichfeldt in the fourth.