THERE was an aura of calmness rarely seen in Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik as they came from behind to subdue a stubborn Taiwan pair Lee Jhe-huey-Huan Po Hsuan to reach the men’s doubles second round yesterday.
The world champions responded well against strong draught in Axiata Arena as they turned around their performance after a slow start to secure a 16-21, 21-15, 21-16 win in 56 minutes.
Aaron is happy that their attempt to start 2023 on a clean slate has gotten off on the right footing.
“We wanted to start fresh and forget about what happened in last year’s Malaysian Open (lost in semi-finals). Coach Rexy (Mainaky) told us to be relaxed and play our normal game,” said Aaron.
“It is the first match and we were still trying to get the tournament feeling but after the first game, we did not think too much and just played our best.
“Axiata Arena is known for the draught but we have played here so many times. We needed to be calm and brave in taking our chances.
“It is good that we had a tough match in the first round as it will help us to be prepared for the next difficult one.”
They will play World Tour Finals champions Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi of China where the Malaysians have lost both their previous meetings last year.
“We lost to them twice but that’s in the past. We start at 0-0 this year and we will sit with coaches to analyse their game and come up with a game plan,” added Aaron.
There was no good news, however, for two Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) pairs Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun.
Sze Fei-Izzuddin started well but lost their way as they suffered a 21-16, 11-21, 17-21 defeat to Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang of China in 54 minutes in the opening round.
“We lost out because we were desperate to end the game,” said Izzuddin.
Wei Chong-Kai Wun were beaten 21-18, 23-21 by former world No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya of Indonesia.
Independent pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, who advanced to the second round on Tuesday, will play Taiwan’s Lu Ching-yau-Yang Po Han today.
In the women’s doubles, Malaysia’s young pair Go Pei Kee-Teoh Mei Xing defeated independent pair Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien 21-13, 21-13 to set up a second round match against China’s Zhang Shuxian-Zheng Yu.