PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles shuttler Hoo Pang Ron believes it is a privilege to be among the first group of shuttlers to play in the World Tour after a long hiatus.
And the 22-year-old is hoping to justify his presence by putting up a strong showing with partner Cheah Yee See when they take on world No. 3 and local favourites Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the first round of the Yonex Thailand Open today.
The standard between the two pairs is world’s apart but Pang Ron is ready to upset the form books.
“We’re determined to go all out to show what we can do after many months of training, ” said Pang Ron, who’s the younger brother of national women’s doubles shuttler Vivian Hoo.
“They are the top seeds and we’ve got nothing to lose, so there’s no pressure and we’ll just have to play our best game.
“The pressure should be on the opponents as we’re the underdogs.”
Pang Ron and Yee See are currently ranked 35th in the world and hoping to move up the ladder.
“The fact the Asian leg is open to high-ranked players makes me appreciate the playing opportunity even more as it’s hard to come by in the midst of pandemic, ” said Pang Ron.
“I certainly hope to justify my presence. Also, it’s a privilege for me to be among the first to experience the tournament bubble.
“There will be many more tournaments that will be held under a similar approach at least for this year, so all the experience gained will come in handy in future.”
Pang Ron-Yee See aim to continue where they left off in 2019 when they picked up three titles including the fifth-tier Hyderabad Open. The other two were the India and Bangladesh International Challenge.
These victories propelled them to the status of being the fourth ranked mixed doubles pair in the country behind Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing.
Last year, they managed to make two World Tour starts before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the circuit.
They lost in the first round on both occasions – to world No. 2 Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping of China at the Malaysian Masters and Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong at the Thailand Masters.
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