PETALING JAYA: Women’s doubles player M. Thinaah will have additional motivation with Pearly Tan at the Singapore Open after winning the 2021-2022 Selangor Sportswoman award on Sunday.
Pearly-Thinaah had a great run at the Malaysian Masters where they finished runners-up and will be looking at building on that success in the Singapore Open.
Thinaah and karate exponent R. Sharmendran, who won his fourth consecutive SEA Games gold in Phnom Penh last month, received the top honours at the Selangor Sports Awards in Shah Alam.
Thinaah’s father S. Muralitharan received the award, which came with RM10,000, on behalf of her daughter who had left for Singapore to compete in the tournament.
“I am proud of her and her sacrifices had paid off,” said Muralitharan.
Thinaah had also vowed to continue their momentum in the Singapore Open after their fine run in the Malaysian Masters.
They had beaten world No. 8 Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota of Japan and world No. 6 Jeong Na-eun-Kim Hya-jeong en route to the final where they lost to another Korean pair, world No. 2 Baek Ha-na-Lee So-hee.
“We have recovered from the Malaysian Masters and have been preparing well and looking forward to continue our momentum at the Singapore Open,” said Thinaah.
“We are not looking at beating any particular top pair but we hope to keep improving on our own game and have better strategy. We also need to be more aggressive and try to improve whatever we can to perform better and implement what we have ironed out in our game in Singapore.”
They are expected to face a tricky first round encounter against Japan’s Rin Iwanaga-Kie Nakanishi tomorrow.
Indonesians Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Ramadhanti are likely to be their second round exponents where Pearly-Thinaah would want to gain some advantage after losing to them at the World Tour Finals in Bangkok last December.
Independent pair Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien are the other Malaysians in the main draw but are not expected to go far as they will be playing Fukushima-Hirota in their opening match.