KUALA LUMPUR: Coach Chin Eei Hui is spoilt for choice in the mixed doubles for the Sudirman Cup which starts in Nanning, China, on Sunday.
She could, if she wants to, give world No. 13 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie more court time but the pair have only played in the New Zealand Open earlier this month, as Soon Huat has just recovered from a right leg injury.
The current rich vein of form from Malaysian Open semi-finalists and Singapore Open runners-up Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing has made it tough for Eei Hui to decide on the pair for Malaysia’s Group D match against China and India in the world mixed team tournament.
“For me it’s a good thing because then we have more choices and we don’t need to depend on just one pair only and I can choose either pair depending on their condition,” said Eei Hui.
“Yes there is a chance that both pairs will get to play but for now I can’t say who yet.”
“Kian Meng-Pei Jing have been good in training but Soon Huat did not train properly for one month after the All-England Open (March).
“He has been back for one week before he went to New Zealand.”
With the team having little chance against 10-time winners China, Malaysia will need to beat India if they harbour hopes of reaching the last eight.
With India boasting top 10 players in K. Srikanth (men), P. V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal (women) in the singles events, the pressure is on the three doubles pairings to carry the team’s hopes.
The mixed doubles pairs will go head-to-head against India’s C. Pranaav Jerry-R.N. Sikki who are ranked 23rd in the world or S. Satwiksairaj-P. Ashwini who are ranked four places behind.
Should Satwiksairaj return from injury, the latter pair will have an advantage having beaten Soon Huat-Shevon twice and Kian Meng-Pei Jing once in 2018.
With the final event of the matches likely to be the mixed doubles tie, Eei Hui’s pair could be the decider.
“I will prepare them mentally before the matches but I also don’t want to give them too much pressure because Soon Huat-Shevon are playing in their first Sudirman Cup.”
Against China, the likely opponents are world No. 1, reigning world and All-England champions, Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong.
“The chances are not high to beat them but in the last meetings, Kian Meng-Pei Jing played until the rubber set and Soon Huat-Shevon also had quite a close fight against them.”