PETALING JAYA: World No. 7 mixed pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are sticking to their semi-final targets in the back-to-back Thailand Opens, which kick off next week.
They are not aiming too high despite the absence of world No. 1 Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong and No. 2 Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping of China, and Japan’s world No. 5 Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino.
England’s world No. 13 Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock have also withdrawn when Gabrielle was tested positive for Covid-19 on Dec 26.
“I didn’t know they were not here (in Bangkok) until I saw Gabrielle’s Instagram post, ” said Peng Soon.
“We have no idea who’s in the bubble because we’re required to stay in our room at all times.
“The only time we get to go out is for court practice or gym sessions. We do bump into other players while waiting for our transport but there’s been no direct or face-to-face communications.”
The Adcocks, a two-time Commonwealth Games champions and 2017 World Championships bronze medallists, are one of Peng Soon-Liu Ying fiercest rivals having won four of their five meetings against the Malaysians.
Peng Soon added: “Their absence doesn’t really have much impact to my draw.
“My goal to reach the semi-finals was made before the draws were made, and it’s still the same after what have taken place.”
In next week’s first Open, Peng Soon-Liu Ying face Indonesia’s Adnan Maulana-Mychelle Bandaso in the opening round and should they advance, Holland’s Robin Tabeling-Selena Piek could be up next.
Their first major test will come in the quarter-finals where they will face either Thai top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai or compatriots Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying are making a last-ditch effort to make the top-eight cut for the lucrative US$1.5mil (RM6.2mil) season-ending World Tour Finals, which makes up the three-event series in Bangkok.
They now have 14,460 points and are currently 18th in the World Tour points standings.
A place in the last four of the two Opens might just see them making the cut.
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