It’s double the trouble

Not good enough: Goh Sze Fei (front) and Nur Izzuddin Rumsani in action against Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto during their semi-final match.

MALAYSIA’S men doubles pairs need to find a formula to beat Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto as soon as possible.

No national or independent pair has managed to overcome the world No. 7 this year.

This is a damning statistic and the trend continued yesterday when world No. 12 Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani fell flat to the Indonesians 14-21, 12-21 in just 37 minutes in the semi-finals of the home tournament.

With the win, Fajar-Rian extended their record over Sze Fei-Izzuddin to six wins in seven meetings.

Despite the roaring support of the vociferous home crowd, Sze Fei and Izzuddin had no answer to Fajar-Rian’s fast and furious game play.

The Indonesians virtually dominated the match from start to finish and came away with their 12th straight win over a home pair this year.

“We made many simple mistakes. Mentally, we were not strong enough today,” said a downcast Sze Fei.

“We tried but it was not our day,” he added.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin have been drawn to play the Indonesians yet again in the first round of the Malaysian Masters which starts on Tuesday and hopes are high on them to end their losing streak and for national coaching doubles director Rext Mainaky to find a solution.

Besides Sze Fei-Izzuddin, independent pair and world No. 10 Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi also fell victims to Fajar-Rian in the quarter-finals on Friday.

The high-riding Fajar-Rian will now take on world champions Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi of Japan in the final today.

Hoki-Kobayashi shattered the hopes of national No. 1 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik when they fought valiantly to romp home with a 23-21, 21-9 win in another semi-final match.

The Malaysian duo squandered two game points at 20-19 and 21-20 to allow the Japanese pair to take the opener.

The narrow loss seemed to demoralise the pair as they went out with a whimper in the second to lose for the fifth time in seven meetings against the Japanese.

With the defeat, the wait for a World Tour title continues for Aaron-Wooi Yik.

Meanwhile, the mixed doubles final showdown will be between world No. 1 Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong of China and world No. 2 Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand after both pairs secured their berths in contrasting styles.

Siwei-Yaqiong were in commanding form when they needed only 31 minutes to sweep aside Denmark’s world No. 15 Mathias Christensen-Alexandra Boje 21-18, 21-8.

Dechapol and Sapsiree, though, had to fight tooth and nail to earn a 23-21, 19-21, 21-14 victory over Olympic Games champions Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping of China in 74 minutes.

“We made less mistakes than the Chinese pair and managed to implement our game plan and these helped us to win the match. We are looking forward to the final and will go all out to get the title,” said Sapsiree.

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