Rexy says lack of results in Thailand Open not due to Thomas Cup flop

Tough fight: Goh Sze Fei (back) and Nur Izzuddin Rumsani lost in the last eight to eventual champions Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi of Japan. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The men’s doubles pairs fell short again in the Thailand Open but national coaching director Rexy Mainaky is adamant that their performance was not affected by their failed Thomas Cup campaign.

World No. 6 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, No. 12, did not make it to the final.

Aaron-Wooi Yik had hoped to win their first Open title but lost in the semi-finals to Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto of Indonesia while Sze Fei-Izzuddin lost in the last eight to eventual champions Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi of Japan.

Both pairs were expected to play sterling roles in helping Malaysia regain the Thomas Cup but they were sent packing in the quarter-finals by eventual winners India.

Aaron, due to Wooi Yik’s poor form, was paired off with Teo Eei Yi and this had forced Sze Fei-Rumsani to play as the first doubles in the Thomas Cup.

Both pairs were expected to make amends in the Thailand Open, which ended on Sunday.

“I think their performance in the Thailand Open has got nothing to do with the Thomas Cup. The standard of the men’s doubles pairs in the top 10 are almost equal and you need to keep working hard to be able to compete with them,” said Rexy.

“Aaron and Wooi Yik must rectify certain aspects of their games. We need to work on their specific strokes to gain the advantage. If your strokes and style are predictable, it is for the opponent to counter them.”

Aaron-Wooi Yik’s, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists, best showing this year before Thailand was a semi-final finish at the Swiss Open while German Open success remains the only title for Sze Fei-Izzuddin.

Meanwhile, women’s pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah provided some spark as they reached the semi-finals before losing to Japan’s Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Chida who went on to win the title.

Rexy felt that they may not have reached the same league as former world No. 1 Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui but Pearly-Thinaah have plenty of potential to become a quality pair.

“They are playing with a lot of maturity. If they can continue playing like they did in the Uber Cup and the Thailand Open, their future is bright,” added Rexy.

Aaron-Wooi Yik, Sze Fei-Izzuddin and Pearly-Thinaah can look forward to better fortunes when they compete in the Indonesian Masters from June 7-12.

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