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Friday January 11, 2013

Peng Soon and Liu Ying hard-pressed to live up to top billing

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will have three top seeds in the home Super Series at the Putra Stadium next week but the mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying will be the most hard-pressed to live up to the top billing.

World No. 3 Peng Soon-Liu Ying showed a lack of stability in their game when they lost 21-12, 15-21, 13-21 to Indonesians Markis Kido-Pia Zebadiah in the second round of the Korean Open Super Series Premier in Seoul yesterday.

National mixed doubles coach Jeremy Gan blamed both Peng Soon and Liu Ying for the defeat.

“Their physical condition is not up to the mark, especially Liu Ying who hasn’t completely recovered from her back injury. Peng Soon didn’t help matters with his lack of patience on the court,” said Jeremy.

So where does that leave them in the Malaysian Open?

“It’ll be difficult,” said Jeremy, who hopes that Peng Soon-Liu Ying will bounce back quickly.

The duo, seeded top in the absence of Xu Chen-Ma Jin of China and Ahmad Tantowi-Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia, have a tricky first round match against Thailand’s Sudket Prapakamol-A. Duanganong.

Their main challengers in the top half are likely to be South Koreans Shin Baek-cheol-Eom Hye-won and Poland’s Robert Mateusiak-Nadiezda Zieba.

The fight in the lower half of the draw will be among Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen, China’s Zhang Nan-Tang Jinhua and Qiu Zihan-Zhao Yunlei.

Peng Soon-Liu Ying have won at home once – in the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold in Johor Baru last year.

Malaysia will also be hoping for a strong showing by Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo, Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing in the tournament. Unfortunately, both these pairs have been drawn in the same half as Peng Soon-Liu Ying.

Meanwhile, Lee Chong Wei and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong have good chances to live up to their top seedings if they play true to their abilities in the Malaysian Open.

In the absence of China’s top players, Chong Wei is peerless in the men’s singles while the race has become more open for Kien Keat-Boon Heong in the men’s doubles

For the record, Malaysia last won a double in the home tournament in 2010 through Chong Wei and Kien Keat-Boon Heong.

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