Tang Jie-Yen Wei in a final they can’t afford to lose


Tough fight: Tan Kian Meng (back) and Lai Pei Jing lost to compatriots Chan Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei in the semi-finals.

PETALING JAYA: All eyes will be on mixed pair Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei today.

The world No. 40 are on the brink of securing their career breakthrough victory after stunning top seeds and compatriots Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing 21-19, 21-23, 21-14 to reach the Indian Open final in New Delhi yesterday.

But Tang Jie-Yen Wei will not only play for themselves when they take on Singapore’s Terry Hee-Tan Wei Han in the title decider – they know exactly that the nation’s pride is at stake.

It’s one match they simply can’t afford to lose especially when the pride as a badminton-playing nation took a beating when Loh Kean Yew was crowned as the world champion last month.

And months prior to that, men’s pairs Tan Kian Meng-Tan Wee Kiong and Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun were also pipped by Terry and Loh Kean Hean, the elder brother of Kean Yew, in the finals of the Dutch Open and Czech Open respectively.

Tang Jie said he respected all his opponents regardless of their nationalities.

“Honestly, we shouldn’t emphasise too much on the nationality. More countries are improving and becoming good at this sport, and Singapore is no exception,” stressed Tang Jie.

“It’s important that we treat all our opponents with respect and never underestimate them.”

This will be Tang Jie-Yen Wei’s first duel with the married couple Terry-Wei Han, who were once ranked as high as No. 15 in the world. Terry-Wei Han made the final after they were given a walkover by second seeds Rodion Alimov-Alina Davletova of Russia.

Alimov tested positive for Covid-19.

“Terry-Wei Han will be just as formidable. They are a very experienced pair. We won’t fancy our chances because we’re nobody either,” said Tang Jie.

“We will get some tips and guidance from our coach (Teo Kok Siang) as well as big brother (Chan Peng Soon) on how to approach the match.”

Tang Jie is also keeping his feet on the ground despite their upset win over Kian Meng-Pei Jing.

“The win has obviously boosted our confidence. But one win really doesn’t mean anything. What matters more is how you build on it,” he said.

Tang Jie-Yen Wei did well to beat world No. 10 Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith of England last year in the last 16 of the Hylo Open, only to be knocked out in the very next round.

Tang Jie-Yen Wei are the only survivors left after Ng Tze Yong and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi crashed out in the semi-finals of the men’s singles and doubles.

Tze Yong could not capitalise on his opening game advantage as he fell 21-19, 16-21, 12-21 to India’s Lakhsya Sen.

Lakhsya will face Kean Yew in the battle featuring the World Championships’ bronze and gold medallists.

Kean Yew also did not have to lift his racquet after being given a bye by Canadian Brian Yang, who fell ill.

Yew Sin-Ee Yi found the resurgent three-time world champions Mohamad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia too hot to handle as they went down tamely 15-21, 18-21.

SEMI-FINAL RESULTS

Men’s singles: Lakhsya Sen (Ind) bt Ng Tze Yong (Mas) 19-21, 21-16, 21-12; Loh Kean Yew (Sin) w.o Brian Yang (Can).

Men’s doubles: Mohamad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Mas) 21-15, 21-18.

Women’s singles: Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) bt Aakarshi Kashyap (Ind) 26-24, 21-9.

Women’s doubles: Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard (Tha) bt Haritha Manazhiyil-Ashna Roy (Ind) 21-12, 21-9; Anastasiia Akchurina-Olga Morozova (Rus) w.o Ekaterina Malkova-Anastasiia Shapovalova (Rus).

Mixed doubles: Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei (Mas) bt Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (Mas) 21-19, 21-23, 21-14; Terry Hee-Tan Wei Han (Sin) w.o Rodion Alimov-Alina Davletova (Rus).

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