PETALING JAYA: Malaysian veteran mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying had to be contented with a semi-final outing once more in the World Tour Finals.
The world No. 9 found the in-form world No. 2 Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand too hot too handle as they went down 8-21, 18-21 in Bali yesterday, dashing their hopes of going a step further than their previous best achievement in 2013.
Dechapol-Sapsiree have certainly come a long way since they once found Peng Soon-Liu Ying hard to beat when they were in their prime.
After losing all their first four encounters against the Rio Olympics silver medallists between 2015 to 2019, the Thais have now made it three wins on the trot with yesterday’s victory.
Peng Soon admitted they had no answer to the Thais’ aggressive play.
“We were unable to keep up with their speed and power,” said Peng Soon.
“Especially in the opening game, they put us under pressure all the time and made it very uncomfortable for us.
“It was tough to adapt to that kind of intensity as we didn’t encounter the same kind of matches previously.”
Despite the exit, Peng Soon-Liu Ying will still be laughing all the way to the bank after pocketing a cool US$30,000 (RM127,000).
More importantly, the world No. 9 are set to head to the World Championships in Huelva, Spain, next week with their confidence restored.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying were quarter-finalists at the Indonesian Open last week.
“It was two good back-to-back results. For a veteran pair like us, we can be very pleased about it,” added Peng Soon.
As for Dechapol-Sapsiree, they are now just one win away from retaining their Finals crown as well as an astonishing fourth triumph in as many tournaments.
Dechapol-Sapsiree have been on a sensational run after capturing the Hylo Open title in early November in Germany and they built on that success to rule the first two legs in Bali – the Indonesian Masters and Indonesian Open.
They will aim to repeat the brilliant feat in January which saw them clinch all the three titles at stake in Bangkok – the Thailand Open 1, Thailand Open 2 and World Tour Finals.