PETALING JAYA: National men’s doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong’s hopes of qualifying for next month’s BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou have been dealt a massive blow after they crashed out in the second round of the Fuzhou China Open.
The Malaysian world No. 13 went down fighting 19-21, 22-20, 15-21 to Liu Cheng-Zhang Nan, the 2017 world champions, in a pulsating battle that lasted 85 minutes at the Haixia Olympic Sports Centre yesterday.
Leading 14-7, the opening game appeared to be going V-Shem-Wee Kiong’s way, but they allowed their opponents to claw back and level 17-17 before pulling through.
To V Shem-Wee Kiong’s credit, they staged a superb comeback in the second game when they stormed back from 15-19 before saving a match point at 19-20 to force a rubber.
However, the Malaysians never looked like winning from the start in the rubber.
Liu Cheng-Zhang Nan, who enjoyed strong support from the home crowd, raced to a 13-5 lead before going on to seal their victory.
The world No. 6 avenged their earlier defeat to V-Shem-Wee Kiong at the same stage in the Malaysian Open in June.
The defeat may cost V Shem-Wee Kiong dearly in the Race to Guangzhou. The early exit in the China Open won’t help them improve on their current world No. 15 ranking but fortunately, they still have the Hong Kong Open next week.
Only the top eight will make the cut for the lucrative US$1.5mil (RM6.24mil) season-ending tournament from Dec 12-16.
Liew Daren and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying were also eliminated in the men’s singles and mixed doubles respectively – marking the end of Malaysia’s interest in the China Open.
Daren lost 15-21, 19-21 to Taiwan’s world No. 3 Chou Tien-chen while Peng Soon-Liu Ying were beaten 17-21, 15-21 by Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti.