PETALING JAYA: Swiss Open champions Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah have to deal with the pressure that comes with their unexpected role as the country’s first pair in the Sudirman Cup in Vaanta, Finland, from Sept 26-Oct 3.
They have been pushed to take the top spot not out of their choice but due to the absence of world No. 11 and national No. 1 Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean.
World No. 19 Pearly-Thinaah are now officially the country’s top pair after Mei Kuan quit the national team recently. Her last stint with Meng Yean was at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
National head coach Chan Chong Ming wants Pearly-Thinaah to use the Sudirman Cup as a platform to gauge where they stand against the top pairs in the world.
“They are the next best after Mei Kuan-Meng Yean.
“They now have an opportunity to play as the top pair and I hope they will learn from this experience. It will give them an idea of what they must do to catch up,” said Chong Ming.
“The transition is all too sudden and Pearly-Thinaah still have a long way to go but they have shown good progress this year.
“We hope that they will learn how to deal with pressure as the top pair in Finland.”
Pearly-Thinaah got off to an excellent start in their partnership this year by reaching at least the quarter-finals in four Open tournaments and winning their maiden title in Switzerland.
The other doubles players under Chong Ming’s care are world No. 70 Teoh Mei Xing-Yap Ling, Yap Cheng Wen-Anna Cheong and three recently promoted juniors from their academy – Go Pei Kee, Low Yeen Yuan and Valeree Siow.
Chong Ming said he had not decided on Meng Yean’s future partner.
“We will try Meng Yean out with some of the younger players in the coming weeks and hopefully, we will find the right partner for her,” added Chong Ming.