MIXED doubles ace Chan Peng Soon believes his newborn baby Julian has brought him luck at the World Championships.
The 30-year-old Peng Soon and his playing partner Goh Liu Ying almost crashed out in the third round when they trailed 15-18 against England’s Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith in the deciding game at the Youth Olympic Sports Park Arena yesterday.
But the world No. 9 experienced a sudden burst of power and adrenaline rush to win six straight points and triumphed 21-16, 17-21, 21-18 in a pulsating battle that lasted 71 minutes to enter their first-ever quarter-finals in a world meet.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying have failed to clear the early rounds in their last five attempts. Their previous best outings were third-round appearances in London 2011 and Jakarta 2015.
Peng Soon, who is father to Milton (12), Hannah (7) and his recent bundle of joy Julian (two weeks old), was ecstatic.
“I’m not sure if we can ever do it again – to turn the tables on our opponents at the crucial stage like how we did today,” said Peng Soon.
“The sudden burst of energy just came out of nowhere. We fought hard and with a little bit of luck, managed to turn the situation around and win it.
“I think my two-week old son is a lucky baby, he’s my lucky charm. We have played in the World Championships so many times but this is the first time that we made it to the quarter-finals.
“But making the last eight alone is not good enough. We want to go to the semis, and subsequently try to win the gold.”
Liu Ying felt she performed below par after the opening game and thanked Peng Soon for covering up her shortcomings.
“Peng Soon won the game for us. I’ve to thank him for that. I failed to play well and today, I was only able to give 60% to 70% of my best,” said Liu Ying.
“I’m very disappointed with myself. I didn’t handle the pressure of being the higher seeded pair well enough.”
Peng Soon-Liu Ying will face world No. 4 Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong, who defeated Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti of Indonesia 21-15, 19-21, 26-24 in the third round yesterday.
The Malaysians met Chun Man-Ying Suet once in the quarter-finals of the Malaysian Masters last January and lost 13-21, 16-21.
Meanwhile, seventh seeds Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie failed to rise to the big occasion again.
The Singapore Open winners failed to avenge their Commonwealth Games quarter-final defeat to India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnapa as they lost again – 22-20, 14-21, 6-21.
“We got it wrong tactically in the second game. We put ourselves into trouble and couldn’t recover in the rubber game and that allowed our opponents to run away with the win,” said Soon Huat.
“We’re disappointed but there’s nothing we can do apart from learning from our mistakes and try to come back stronger in future tournaments.”
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