(Thailand Open 1, Thailand Open 2 and World Tour Finals)
MEN'S SINGLESLee Zii Jia (world No. 10)
Results: Thai 1 (second round), Thai 2 (first round), Finals (group stage)
Shockingly went from the brink of victory (led 17-6 in the second game) to losing to world No. 31 Sameer Verma of India in the first round of the Thailand Open 1. Made it to the World Tour Finals and was drawn in the same group with Viktor Axensen (Den), Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) and Anthony Ginting (Ina). It was painful to watch him slump to an embarrassing 15-21,4-21 defeat to Viktor.
Liew Daren (41)
Results: Thai 1 (second round), Thai 2 (second round)
Independent shuttler Daren proved once again that he is game to take on some of the best players in the world. He pulled off a surprise by gunning down world No. 3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark in the first round of the Thailand Open 1. Fitness remains his stumbling block, but two last 16 outings is not too shabby for the 33-year-old.
Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (9)
Results: Thai 1 (first round), Thai 2 (runners-up), Finals (group stage)
Far from convincing by their standards despite having made one final in three tournaments. An Open tournament title remains elusive after six career finals and they continued to struggle to overcome Indonesia veterans Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan. Squandered their chance to reach the semi-final of the Finals after a costly defeat to Russia's Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov. Still inconsistent.
Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (14)
Results: Thai 1 (runners-up), Thai 2 (quarter-finals)
Just when everyone thought their careers were going downhill, V Shem-Wee Kiong served a timely reminder that they still pack a punch. The Rio Olympics silver medallists' two strong outings in Bangkok should boost their confidence ahead of the Tokyo Olympics qualification resumption in March, where they stand a mathematical chance of pipping Aaron-Wooi Yik to the berth.
Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (15)
Results: Thai 1 (quarter-finals), Thai 2 (quarter-finals), Finals (group stage)
It would have been a superb campaign for the independent pair had they made it to the last four of the World Tour Finals. They were left kicking themselves for losing tamely to world No. 32 Sean Vendy-Ben Lane of England in the second match, otherwise they would have cleared the group stage hurdle. Made the most of their favourable draw to notch modest quarter-final outings in the earlier two Opens.
Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani (28)
Results: Thai 1 (quarter-finals), Thai 2 (first round)
It was a yo-yo display from the youngsters. Did well to beat former world champions Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol of South Korea en route to the quarter-finals of the first Open. But they were a letdown the following week with their loss to Thai scratch pair Supak Jomkoh-Kittinupong Kedren in the opening round.
Soniia Cheah (29)
Results: Thai 1 (first round), Thai 2 (first round)
She can count herself unlucky to have crossed path with South Korea's top two shuttlers – Sung Ji-hyun and An Se-young. Lost both matches in straight games, but being an experienced player and a World Tour regular, Soniia should have given a better fight.
S. Kisona (92)
Results: Thai 1 (first round), Thai 2 (second round)
Travelled with the team as a sparring partner but moved to the main draw following a number of last-minute withdrawals. To beat world-class opponents Saina Nehwal and P. V. Sindhu from India were too much of an asking but she did give a fight. A good exposure for the SEA Games champion in the top-tier Tour.
Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (14)
Results: Thai 1 (second round), Thai 2 (semi-finals), Finals (semi-finals)
Headed to Bangkok with little expectations but they pulled out their best performances in recent years to reach back-to-back semi-finals in the last two legs. The highlight of their campaign was winning in straight games against Indonesia's Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu, the winners of the first Open. That win turned out to be decisive as they pipped them to the semis of the Finals. Still a lot of work ahead as they lost to three different Koreans in three weeks.
Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen (25)
Results: Thai 1 (second round), Thai 2 (quarter-finals), Finals (group stage)
Benefitted from the withdrawal of Japan and China top shuttlers to qualify for the Tour Finals, but failed to mount a strong challenge to finish well. Stamped their mark against European rivals, but could not match the Koreans.
Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (39)
Results: Thai 1 (quarter-finals), Thai 2 (quarter-finals)
They were a revelation in Bangkok and arguably the most outstanding Malaysian performers. Both showed no fear despite competing in the top-tier World Tour events for the first time. They did what their seniors had failed to do – beating the mighty Koreans – by pulling off a stunning 16-21,21-15,27-25 win over world No. 9 Chang Ye-na-Kim Hye-rin in a 87-minute first round thriller at the Thai 2. They are trending in the right direction and expect them to get even better.
Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (7)
Results: Thai 1 (quarter-finals), Thai 2 (quarter-finals)
Consistent performers but nothing outstanding this time. Will have to raise their game in the coming months if they are to establish themselves as medal contenders at the Olympics.
Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (11)
Results: Thai 1 (second round), Thai 2 (first round)
A big letdown. They had the least intimidating paths to navigate in the early stages but failed miserably by going down to European rivals. French rising stars Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue and world No. 9 Lauren Smith-Marcus Ellis of England may be no pushovers, but these are the opponents Kian Meng-Pei Jing should be able to overcome given their credentials. Two early exits cost them a place in the Finals.
Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie (12)
Results: Thai 1 (second round), Thai 2 (second round), Finals (semi-finals)
They were unlucky to face Thai top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taeratanachai, who're in the form of their life, in the two Opens. They did bounce back with a spirited performance in the Finals that saw them knocking out world No. 9 Hafiz Faizal-Gloria Widjaja of Indonesia to make the semis. However, their tame defeat to world No. 8 Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yu-jung was disappointing.
Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See (35)
Results: Thai 1 (first round), Thai 2 (semi-finals)
An up-and-coming pair that head coach Paulus Firman should really start giving more attention to. They showed glimpses of their immense potential with a series of energetic performances. Pang Ron-Yee See battled gallantly for 69 minutes in three games before losing to champions Dechapol-Sapsiree in Thai 1. Then they proved their previous week's display was no fluke with their giant-killing run that included beating Hafiz-Gloria en route to the semis.