PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles ace Chan Peng Soon had hoped to avoid facing his former partner Goh Liu Ying on the international stage but his wish did not come true.
In fact, Peng Soon will be staring into Liu Ying’s eyes from the opposite side when they clash in the Indonesian Masters from June 7-12 in Jakarta.
Peng Soon and his new partner Cheah Yee See will face off with Liu Ying and her new partner Soong Joo Ven in the first round.
Having played with Liu Ying for 13 years, Peng Soon does feel awkward facing off against a familiar figure.
“Basically, I did not want to face her in the tournament because she is a good partner on-and-off the court. However, it seems like the BWF (Badminton World Federation) are playing a trick on us by putting us as opponents via the recent draw,” Peng Soon joked.
“The Indonesia Masters is just our second competition where we have both put our names down but we ended up being drawn to face each other.”
If Peng Soon-Yee See overcome Joo Ven-Liu Ying, they could face South Korea’s world No. 6 Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yu-jung in the second round.
Peng Soon said he has been re-energised after being reunited with Yee See.
At the age of 34, many would have given up on the game, but Peng Soon believes that he still has a long way to go.
“I don’t think that I should hang up my racquet just yet. I am still trying and continuously learning,” said Peng Soon.
“I’ve been partnered with Yee See previously, but she was a new player back then. Now, she has her own style of playing so we are figuring out what is suitable for both of us.”
He briefly partnered Yee See in 2017 when Liu Ying, who won the Rio Olympic Games silver medal with him in 2016, was injured.
Peng Soon said the reunion with Yee See has given him fresh hope to qualify for the Paris Olympics in 2024.