PETALING JAYA: Doubles shuttlers Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong will be out to get the monkey off their backs in the Malaysian Open from June 26-July 1 at the Axiata Arena.
The national top men’s doubles pair have had enough after getting it wrong in their last three outings at the home tournament.
They lost in the first round to China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei in 2015 and lost in the second round to South Korea’s Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong in 2016.
Last year’s edition in Kuching was probably the most embarrassing after a loss to qualifiers Or Chin Chung-Tang Chun Man of Hong Kong in the first round.
It looks like another poor showing is on the cards, especially after V Shem-Wee Kiong let the team down at the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok two weeks ago by losing the crunch matches in the ties against Denmark and Indonesia.
Wee Kiong, however, has vowed to prove the critics wrong although there is a possible second-round match against world No. 3 Liu Cheng-Zhang Nan of China.
“It’s going to be anyone’s game at the Malaysian Open. There are no clear winners,” said Wee Kiong.
“We’re one of the title contenders. Everyone goes to a tournament wanting to become champions, not to lose.
“Our previous records may not be good, but dwelling on the past isn’t going to help.
“We’re going to give our best in front of home spectators, and hopefully our best will be enough to lead us to victory. We want to win as much as the fans want us to.”
V Shem-Wee Kiong will open their campaign against Thailand’s world No. 25 Tinn Isriyanet-Kittisak Namdash – and even that is a tricky match.
The other notable opponents in their half are world No. 1 and defending champions Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia and Denmark’s world No. 5 Mads Conrad-Petersen-Mads Pieler Kolding.
V Shem-Wee Kiong lost to both pairs in the Thomas Cup and fancy a possible rematch with either one of them in the semi-finals.
“The first round will be tough against the Thais. We’re not looking beyond the first round yet,” said Wee Kiong, who last tasted success with V Shem at the BWF World Superseries Masters Finals in Dubai, in December 2016.
“We want to win a tournament this year. It’s been too long and we don’t want this dry spell to go on,” he added.