V Shem blasts judges for faulting him more than 10 times

PETALING JAYA: Doubles shuttler Goh V Shem is leaving for the All-England with much trepidation after being service faulted for more than 10 times during the German Open.

V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong crashed out in the men’s doubles semi-finals in Mulheim on Saturday after losing 17-21, 21-18, 19-21 to Japan’s Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko in 52 minutes.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) introduced a new service rule in the German Open but it received a big thumbs-down from V Shem.

The rule states that the whole shuttle should be below 1.15m from the surface of the court at the moment it touches the ser­ver’s racquet. Previously, it was fixed at 1.1m.

V Shem lambasted the service judges for not giving solid reasons for faulting his service.

“The service judge kept saying that my service was too high. I had more than 10 faults this whole week. It was frustrating,” said V Shem.

“I have no idea why it’s faulted. No proper explanations are given. I just feel that it’s unfair.”

V Shem-Wee Kiong will open their campaign against fifth seeds Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda of Japan in the first round of the All-England in Birmingham on Wednesday and V Shem is anticipating another week of misery trying to adjust to the new service rule.

“I can’t change my height. I guess I will just have to squat down when I serve,” said V Shem with a tone of sarcasm.

“Wee Kiong and I will have to deal with it. The All-England will see more top players in action compared to the German Open. Many more are going to be upset,” he said.

Lin Dan of China, who lost in the quarter-finals of the German Open on Friday, also took a swipe at BWF and made his displeasure clear over the new rule.

National doubles head coach Cheah Soon Kit said he had no problems with the new rule but hoped that the world body would be clear with the implementation.

“The world body have given players ample time to be ready. From my observation here, I think most players struggled to adapt,” said Soon Kit.

“V Shem and Wee Kiong tried their best but they were faulted a few times and it broke the rhythm of their play.

“The BWF should create more awareness of this rule among the service judges and players.

“Stating a new measurement is not enough. They should make it clear whether it’s the feather or the shuttlehead that cannot be above the height ... which is right? How will one know?

“Hopefully, it will be better at the All-England. Players will have to adapt. I hope that the BWF will be firm and not just test it here and abandon it later.”

Several players like Lee Chong Wei, Lee Zii Jia, China’s Chen Long and Denmark’s reigning champion Viktor Axelsen have not experimented with the new service rule in an official tournament but they have been apprehensive about it.

Defending champion Chong Wei will get a first taste of it at this week’s All-England.

Badminton , Goh V Shem , new service rule