Soon Huat-Shevon crash back down to earth after Swiss high

PETALING JAYA: From a high to a low. Four days ago, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie finished runners-up in the Swiss Open in Basel. Yesterday, they were brought down to earth in the first round of the Spain Masters.

The independent mixed doubles pair fell to a disappointing 19-21, 10-21 loss to Taiwan’s world No. 33 Chang Ko-chi-Lee Chih-chen in Madrid.

Soon Huat-Shevon had beaten the same pair 21-15, 21-13 in the Malaysian Open in January but could not re-produce that form.

“Soon Huat-Shevon didn’t perform up to their normal level today (yesterday),” lamented coach Teo Kok Siang.

“They need to improve their mentality. Soon Huat’s physical condition was not that good as he was having diarrhoea before the match but we don’t want to use it as an excuse.”

The Malaysian pair, though, do have something to cheer about as they returned to the top 10 in the world rankings after their encouraging showing in the Swiss Open.

Soon Huat-Shevon, who lost to China’s Jiang Zhen Bang and Wei Ya Xin 17-21, 21-19, 17-21 in the Swiss final, moved up the rankings from No. 11 to No. 10.

Meanwhile, men’s singles players Leong Jun Hao and Soong Joo Ven’s woes deepened after both fell in the qualifying rounds.

Denmark’s Magnus Johannesen got the better of Joo Ven and Jun Hao in the first and second qualifying rounds respectively.

Jun Hao, who has been entrusted with the responsibility of spearheading the country’s challenge in the SEA Games in Cambodia from May 5-17, will have to up his level to make an impression at the Games.

In the men’s doubles, independent pair Boon Xin Yuan-Wong Tien Ci brought some joy to Malaysia after claiming a hard-fought 20-22, 23-21, 21-19 victory over Lucas Corvee-Ronan Labar of France.

Xin Yuan-Tien Ci will take on fellow qualifiers Kenya Mitsuhashi-Hiroki Okamura of Japan today for a place in the quarter-finals. (Malaysians only)First qualifying round Men’s singles: Leong Jun Hao bt Chi Yu-jen (Tpe) 19-21, 21-19, 21-19; Magnus Johannesen (Den) bt Soong Joo Ven 19-21, 29-27, 21-16. Men’s doubles: Andreas Sondergaard-Jesper Toft (Den) bt Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah 21-19, 15-21, 21-18. Second qualifying roundMen’s singles: Magnus Johannesen (Den) bt Leong Jun Hao 21-17, 21-19. First roundMen’s doubles: Boon Xin Yuan-Wong Tien Ci bt Lucas Corvee-Ronan Labar (Fra) 20-22, 23-21, 21-19. Mixed doubles: Chang Ko-chi-Lee Chih-chen (Tpe) bt Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie 21-19, 21-10.

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