KUALA LUMPUR: Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong were just one match away from securing their first Open title. Yet, they blew it.
V Shem-Wee Kiong went down fighting 19-21, 21-14, 17-21 to Cai Yun-Lu Kai of China in a pulsating 63-minute men’s doubles final at the Swiss Open in Basel on Sunday.
The match was tight from the start.
In the opening game, sixth seeds V Shem-Wee Kiong and third seeds Cai Yun-Lu Kai fought until 19-19 before the China pair pulled away for a win.
Glasgow Commonwealth Games champions V Shem-Wee Kiong refused to give in and came back to snatch the second game with a splendid attacking display.
The close duel continued into the rubber game, with both snapping at each other’s heels until 13-13 before 2014 Singapore Open winners Cai Yun-Lu Kai broke away to romp home to their second international title as a pair.
National doubles head coach Jeremy Gan said that V Shem-Wee Kiong can walk tall despite the defeat.
“Overall, they played all right and showed good commitment on court. They just lacked the boldness and consistency in their first three shots against the fired-up Chinese pair,” said Jeremy.
“I’m satisfied with their performance. This is their first final since V Shem came back from his knee injury.
“They’ve shown improvement in every match and I’m confident they will only get better.
“All they need to do is to stay focused in their training.”
For the 22-year-old Lu Kai, it was a double joy in the Grand Prix Gold tournament as he had also won the mixed doubles title with Huang Yaqiong in an all-China final.
The only title that did not go China’s way was in the men’s singles when India’s K. Srikanth defeated Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 21-15, 12-21, 21-14 to win his first title this year.