Not the end of the World

Aaron Chia (right) and Soh Wooi Yik.

PETALING JAYA: Can national No. 1 men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik get it right in their third attempt to end an elusive chase for a title in Thailand?

They missed out on a good chance yesterday after crashing out 13-21,18-21 to Taiwan’s Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin in the men’s doubles final of the Toyota Thailand Open at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.

Last week, the Malaysians lost in the opening round of the first Thai Open while it was a second successive title for Lee Yang-Chi-lin yesterday.

The 2019 SEA Games champions Aaron-Wooi Yik will now shift their attention to the World Tour Finals at the same venue from Jan 27-31 and will be hoping to strike a rich vein in their third competition in Bangkok.

They are one of the eight pairs who have qualified for the Finals.

Aaron agreed that they could have played better yesterday. After all, they had given a better fight against the Taiwanese in their last two meetings.

They dragged their opponents to rubber games before losing in the Group B match of the 2019 World Tour Finals (20-22,23-21,14-21) and during the second round of the 2019 Korean Masters (21-18,15-21,15-21).

“I made a lot of unforced errors today. They have studied our game very well, and that’s why we lost easily in the opening game, ” said Aaron.

“We’ve not won an Open title yet. At the Finals, I can only promise to give our best. Overall, we are satisfied with our progress (from a first-round casualty to a finalist within two weeks).”

The Malaysians bagged US$35,000 (RM141,505) for their runners-up spot yesterday while the Taiwanese pocketed US$74,000 (RM299,182).

Although pleased with Aaron-Wooi Yik’s transformation this week, national head coach Flandi Limpele said there was room for improvement.

“Our standard is not that far from the Taiwanese but we were slower to adapt and lacked the confidence compared to our opponents.

“They were quite hesitant too, ” said Limpele.

“I still believe we have not seen the full potential of Aaron and Wooi Yik. We’ll continue to evaluate.

“Yes, after the final today, I would like to see them win titles but I don’t want to place too much hope on them yet. We will continue to motivate them to show more improvement and be more consistent.”

Besides a runner-up finish at the 2019 All-England, Aaron-Wooi Yik also played the bridesmaid role at the 2018 German Open and four International Challenge tournaments in Switzerland (2016), India (2017), Vietnam (2018) and Malaysia (2018).

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