PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles shuttler Shevon Lai Jemie (pic) could not believe her luck after qualifying for the season-ending World Tour Finals with partner Goh Soon Huat as the last qualifiers.
She thought it was all over after losing to top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in the second round in the first Open two weeks ago.
Fortunately, she and Soon Huat made it as the competitors above them – compatriots Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje – crashed out in the first round of last week’s Thailand Open.
Now that the 27-year-old Shevon will get a second chance to play in the Finals, she is eager to redeem herself when the actions begins at the Impact Arena tomorrow.
“We’re really grateful to have make the third and final week, ” said Shevon.
“Initially we thought it would be tough as we had to face Dechapol-Sapsiree. Not saying that we stood no chance against them, but they were really on fire this time. They had just won two tournaments in a row.
“Now that we have made the Finals, we look forward to making this opportunity count. We weren’t too happy with our performance in the first two outings. We need to come up with a more solid and consistent game.”
It will be Shevon-Soon Huat’s second Finals. They failed to impress in their debut in Guangzhou, China in 2018, losing all three group stage matches including against Dechapol-Sapsiree.
“Hopefully we can make it past the group stage this time around, but it really depends on the draw. Although the Japanese and Chinese top pairs are absent, the other qualifiers are just as formidable, ” said Shevon.
“But the Finals this time will surely lack the element of glamour. My first experience in 2018 was really a fun one as they hosted a banquet for all the finalist. Everyone dressed up for the occasion, that was very nice because we hardly see each other in such attires.”
Said Soon Huat: “It’s an honour to be part of the season finale as one of the best eight pairs.
“I believe we will be more relaxed in our approach in the round-robin format because we don’t get knocked out with just a defeat. We have three matches to make a difference.”
The eight pairs will be divided into two groups. Only the top two pairs from each group advance to the semi-finals.
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