PETALING JAYA: Shuttlers Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie may merit a place in the Sudirman Cup from May 14-21 in Suzhou, China, based on their performance in the just concluded Swiss Open.
The independent mixed doubles pair went down fighting 17-21, 21-19, 17-21 to China’s fast-rising Jiang Zhenbang-Wei Yaxin in a one-hour pulsating final in Basel yesterday.
It was heartbreak again for world No. 11 Soon Huat-Shevon as they had also finished as runners-up in last year’s edition.
Then, the pair had been denied by Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Lohau, also losing in three games – 21-12, 18-21, 17-21.
In only their first meeting in an international tournament yesterday, it was the world No. 33 Zhenbang-Yaxin who had better control of proceedings in the first game and kept Soon Huat-Shevon in the back foot with their dangerous attacks.
Soon Huat-Shevon though, did well to fight back from 8-14 down in the second game to force the decider.
In the third game, it was neck-and-neck until 16-16 before the Chinese pair won four points in a row to lead 20-16 and gave Soon Huat-Shevon a mountain to climb.
The Malaysians saved a match point but could not prevent Zhenbang-Yaxin from triumphing.
Despite the defeat, Soon Huat-Shevon were still the best performers for Malaysia as the other representatives lost out in the last four.
The pair were overlooked for the Asian Mixed Team Championships last month which served as the qualifiers for the Sudirman Cup but have performed better this year than fellow independent pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, who were selected along with promising duo Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei.
Kian Meng-Pei Jing are currently still higher ranked than Soon Huat-Shevon at No. 7 but are on a poor run of form, having lost in the early rounds of all their individual tournaments so far this year.
Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles, India’s world No. 6 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty captured their first title of the year after narrowly overcoming China’s Ren Xiangyu-Tan Qiang 21-19, 24-22.
In the women’s singles, Pornpawee Chochuwong ended her three-year wait for a World Tour title when she beat Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt 21-16, 21-18.
(Malaysians unless stated)
Men’s singles: Koki Watanabe (Jpn) bt Lee Zii Jia 21-11, 21-14; Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) bt Viktor Axelsen (Den) 21-10, 21-15.
Men’s doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty (Ind) bt Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi 21-19, 17-21, 21-17; Ren Xiangyu-Tan Qiang (Chn) bt Ben Lane-Sean Vendy (Eng) 21-10, 21-17.
Women’s singles: Mia Blichfeldt (Den) bt Zhang Beiwen (US) 19-21, 21-19, 21-18; Pornpawee Chochuwong (Tha) bt Gregoria Mariska (Ina) 18-21, 21-13, 21-17.
Women’s doubles: Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) bt Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia (Ina) 21-17, 16-10, (ret.); Rena Miyaura-Ayako Sakuramoto (Jpn) bt Baek Ha-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) 21-17, 21-19.
Mixed doubles: Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie bt Robin Tabeling-Selena Piek (Ned) 21-14, 23-21; Jiang Zhenbang-Wei Yaxin (Chn) bt Ye Hong-wei-Lee Chia-hsin (Tpe) 21-13, 23-21.
Men’s doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty (Ind) bt Ren Xiangyu-Tan Qiang (Chn) 21-19, 24-22.
Women’s singles: Pornpawee Chochuwong (Tha) bt Mia Blichfeldt (Den) 21-16, 21-18.
Women’s doubles: Rena Miyaura-Ayako Sakuramoto (Jpn) w.o Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn).
Mixed doubles: Jiang Zhenbang-Wei Yaxin (Chn) bt Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie 21-17, 19-21, 21-17.