PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles shuttlers Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei are quietly growing in confidence as they seek to establish themselves as a top pair.
Tang Jie-Ee Wei’s determination and never-say-die attitude again came to the fore when they stormed back from a game down to beat China’s former world junior champions He Jiting-Du Yue 11-21, 21-14, 21-14 in the second round of the Swiss Open in Basel on Thursday.
It was an impressive victory for world No. 28 Tang Jie-Ee Wei, who were only paired together last November.
“The key to Tang Jie-Ee Wei’s win was that they managed to set the tempo in the second and third games,” said national mixed doubles coach Nova Widianto.
“In the first game, they were less confident, made too many errors and ended up following their opponents’ rhythm too much.
“But they managed to adapt well and grew in confidence as the match progressed.”
While pleased with the win and Tang Jie-Ee Wei’s overall progress since being paired together, Nova insisted that the pair still had room for improvement.
“So far, they have done well enough but they still have a lot to improve on, especially in terms of their technique,” said Nova.
“They are not stable as a pair yet.”
Tang Jie-Ee Wei have yet to reach the semi-finals of a World Tour event and will have the opportunity to do so when they take on Holland’s world No. 12 Robin Tabeling-Selena Piek in the last eight.
They will be joined by world No. 11 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie in the last eight.
Soon Huat-Shevon had to dig deep to overcome Taiwanese qualifiers Chiu Hsiang-chieh-Lin Xiao-min 21-15, 14-21, 21-14 to set up a match against Thailand’s world No. 15 Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran.
Meanwhile, national doubles coach Hoon Thien How has raised concerns over Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik’s poor run in Europe after they went down 21-17, 16-21, 17-21 to Japan’s Akira Koga-Taichi Saito in the second round in Basel.
It was the world No. 2 pair’s second defeat to the Japanese world No. 25 duo in just two weeks after losing in the German Open too but this time, they were able to stretch it to three games.
“When the opponents are leading, they tend to struggle. Mentally, they are down and just can’t fight back,” said Thien How.
“And when Aaron-Wooi Yik have a two or three-point lead, the opponents are able to fight hard and level the scores.”
With the defeat, Aaron-Wooi Yik completed a miserable outing in Europe where they also lost in the opening round of the All-England in Birmingham last week.
The duo will now have a month to rediscover their form before their next tournament - the Asian Championships in Dubai from April 25-30.