Haikal-Izzuddin must learn to be more aggressive to win matches

PETALING JAYA: New combination Mohd Haikal Nazri-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani could have bagged another title if they had adopted an aggressive approach in the China Masters in Ruichang.

National men’s doubles coach Tan Bin Shen said Haikal-Izzuddin gave away points on a silver platter and allowed opponents to dictate terms.

The pair, who won the Malaysian International Challenge in December, muffed up with a defensive approach that saw them losing 16-21, 21-19, 16-21 to Chen Boyang-Liu Yi of China in the final. “Haikal-Izzuddin must be focused in their matches and should not concede easy points as this will give confidence to their opponents to stage a fightback,” said Bin Shen.

“They also need to improve their front court play. If they are not brave enough, they will be forced to become too defensive.

“They are more comfortable in lifting the shuttles high and this only allows the opponents to attack and finish off the rallies.”

Bin Shen added that Haikal-Izzuddin needed to improve on their speed as well.

World No. 222 Haikal-Izzuddin will next play in the Osaka International Challenge (March 29-April 2) along with new pairs like Goh Sze Fei-Choong Hon Jian and Wan Junaidi Wan Arif-Yap Roy King.

Haikal-Izzuddin have a realistic chance of winning but may have to overcome Thailand International Challenge runners-up Sze Fei-Hon Jian in a possible semi-final showdown to continue their title chase.

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