Vivian believes Pearly-Thinaah will come good eventually

PETALING JAYA: Former international Vivian Hoo has backed teammates Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah to succeed as the national No. 1 women’s doubles pair.

World No. 19 Pearly-Thinaah are the top pair after former No. 1 Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean broke up their partnership.

The 26-year-old Mei Kuan decided to retire last week.

The 31-year-old Vivian believes Pearly-Thinaah would encounter difficulties at the start but she has no doubts that they will come good eventually.

Vivian was speaking from her experience as she had faced a similar situation with partner Woon Khe Wei when they succeeded former world No. 1 Chin Ee Hui-Wong Pei Tty following their retirement in mid-2012.

Vivian-Khe Wei overcame some early struggles before going on to become one of the most successful Malaysian women’s doubles pairings.

Besides reaching a career-best No. 9 in the world ranking, they also won gold at the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games; bronze at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and reached the quarter-finals of the 2016 Rio Olympics to mark the nation’s best achievement in the event.

“Just take up the challenge and relish it, that’s my advice to them,” said Vivian. “It’s going to be one rough and stressful journey ahead but it’s getting through these obstacles that’s going to help them mature faster and get stronger.”

Pearly-Thinaah will face their first major tests almost immediately at the Sudirman Cup in Vaanta, Finland, from Sept 26-Oct 3 and the Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark, from Oct 9-17.

“Our first Sudirman Cup (2013) outing was disastrous. Khe Wei and I lost all our group stage matches. But it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed because we were the hosts. We had a strong team at that time featuring Lee Chong Wei, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.

“Perhaps they probably won’t feel it as intense as back then since they are going to Europe as underdogs.”

Khe Wei is also confident that Pearly and Thinaah will do just fine so long they keep the pressure under control.

“The expectation from the fans can be very high. Back then, they actually expect us to play as well as Eei Hui-Pei Tty right away,” recalled Khe Wei.

“Pressure will surely be there. All they can do is try not to let it get the better of them.

“Just take it one match at a time and play with no fear like what they did earlier to win the Swiss Open.”

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