PETALING JAYA: Watch out for “The Babies”!
World No. 9 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik will tread with caution as they face fast rising Indonesian pair Leo Carnando-Daniel Marthin for the first time in the last 16 of the Toyota Thailand Open today.
The reigning world junior champions made heads turn in the first Open last week when they made it to the semi-finals before being stopped by Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong.
En route to the last four, the world No. 70 had beaten the likes of world No. 6 and compatriots Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto and Rio Olympics bronze medallists Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge of England.
It was certainly an outstanding feat for the two 19-year-olds, as they only made the main draw from the reserve list following a host of late withdrawals.
This has led the Indonesian media to hail the pair and nickname them “The Babies”, similar to how they call world No. 1 Kevin Sanjaya-Marcus Fernaldi “The Minions” and No. 2 Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan “The Daddies”.
Leo-Daniel wasted no time in proving that their feat last week was no fluke by sending world No. 12 Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen packing on Monday.
Aaron admitted it will be a difficult battle against “fearless” Leo-Daniel.
“We’re bracing ourselves for a tough match, we can’t afford to let our guard down and need to focus on every single point especially when we face a rising pair like them, ” said Aaron.
“We have not played against them, so it’s even more tricky.
“Watching them reminds me of the way we were a few years back. Then, we don’t fear anyone.
“We know exactly how it’s like being the underdogs.
“Scoring an upset or two makes you feel really good and it fires you up for more.
“So it’s important for us, as higher-ranked pair not to feel under pressure.
“We need to stay focused all the time and stick to our game plan.”
Should Aaron-Wooi Yik manage to stave off the Indonesians, they will most likely set up a rematch with compatriots Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong in the last eight.
Aaron-Wooi Yik were beaten by the Rio Olympics silver medallists in the first round, who went on to emerge runners-up last week in the first Open.
V Shem-Wee Kiong should face little trouble against Thai scratch pair Supak Jomkoh-Kittinupong Kedren.
“We’re relishing a rematch with our seniors after last week’s defeat.
“If that happens, hopefully we can beat them this time, ” said Aaron.
“A lot is at stake as they are not too far behind us for the World Tour Finals qualification.
“We have to win at all costs.”
Meanwhile, in-form Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi should also be a shoo-in for the quarter-finals.
They will be up against Danish scratch pair Mathias Christiansen-Niclas Nohr.