PETALING JAYA: It was one hurdle too high for mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing.
Playing back-to-back tournaments took its toll on them as they fell easily in the Singapore Open final yesterday.
Their two-year title drought continued as they fell 14-21, 6-21 to Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
Kian Meng-Pei Jing, who last won the Malaysian Masters in 2017, had no answer to the aggressive play of the third seeded Thai pair, who took just 33 minutes to seal victory.
The unseeded Kian Meng-Pei Jing reached the final with a hard-fought 21-16, 20-22, 22-20 semi-final victory over seventh seeds Hafiz Faizal-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia on Saturday.
With their defeat, Malaysia failed to retain the title as defending champions Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie were eliminated in the quarter-finals on Friday.
A dejected Pei Jing admitted it was one of their worst performances and felt bad for the Malaysians who came to show their support.
“I feel so unhappy with today’s game. We did not even bring out 50% of our usual performance.
“Hats off to our opponents, they played so well today.
“We really wanted to win to thank all the supporters here and back home but physically we were not up to it. I had no strength at all.
“My whole body was in pain,” added Pei Jing, who also lamented the fact that they had no support staff.
“I feel it’s really crucial to at least have a masseur around as recovery is very important after a tough match.
“We have not played like this for a long time ... 10 high quality matches in two weeks.
“We will try harder to build up our strength,” said Pei Jing, who also reached the Malaysian Open semi-finals with Kian Meng.