Aaron-Soh in for a rough ride in Malaysian Open

Strong challenge: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are expected to square up against China’s Australian Open champions Liu Yucheng-Ou Xuanyi in the second round of the Malaysian Open.

PETALING JAYA: There was little luck for the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s men’s doubles pairs as they are clustered in the bottom half of the draw at the Malaysian Open from Jan 10-15.

World champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik have strong obstacles as they are expected to play young China sensations Liu Yucheng-Ou Xuanyi in the second round with a win pitting them against India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty or Indonesians Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana.

Yucheng-Xuanyi won the Australian Open last month and the World Tour Finals in Bangkok two weeks ago and are expected to give the Malaysians a rough ride.

Two other pairs in the bottom half – Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun – are also facing uphill tasks in their opening matches.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin, who are looking for redemption after their continuous struggle on the world circuit, will play Japan Open champions Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang in the first round while Wei Chong-Kai Wun are up against second seeds and world No. 8 Marcus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya in their opening match.

Both Malaysian pairs will meet each other if they overcome their first round hurdles.

In the mixed doubles, independent pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing will be meeting BAM combination Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei in the first round while another independent pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are also in the same quarter of the draw.

Peng Soon-Liu Ying, should they overcome Indonesia’s Rehan Naufal-Lisa Ayu in their opening round, will meet the winners of the match between Kian Meng-Pei Jing and Tang Jie-Ee Wei.

“This always happens and I don’t think we cannot do anything about it. The players just have to face it and fight on.

“Since the Olympic qualification is getting nearer, the competition will be getting tougher.

“So, I want all my players to stay focused and forget about the draw. Take every match step by step,” said doubles head coach Rexy Mainaky.

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Aaron Chia , Soh Wooi Yik , Malaysian Open


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