Rexy rues misfortune of Malaysian doubles collision in first round

Luck of the draw: Aaron Chia (left) and Soh Wooi Yik will clash with teammates Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani in the first round of the All-England.

PETALING JAYA: The luck of the draw was not in favour of men’s doubles shuttlers Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani in the All-England from March 12-17 in Birmingham after both pairs were pitted against each other as early as the first round.

National coaching director Rexy Mainaky rued his charges’ misfortune and is refusing to take sides.

“All I can say is that it’s bad luck that our men’s doubles pairs must meet each other in the first round,” said Rexy.

“I don’t have much advice for both pairs. I just want them to play their best and may the better pair on the day go through to the next round.”

It will be the seventh meeting between world No. 5 Aaron-Wooi Yik and world No. 19 Sze Fei-Izzuddin in international competitions.

The former hold a clear advantage over the latter, having come out on top five times in their past six encounters.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin’s only win over Aaron-Wooi Yik came in the 2019 German Open.

Their last meeting was in the second round of the Malaysian Open last month where Aaron-Wooi Yik beat their teammates 21-15, 21-16.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin, though, will not be short of confidence after breaking into the world’s top 20 for the first time since reuniting last June.

The pair moved up three rungs from their previous ranking of No. 22 after an encouraging showing in the Asia Team Championships recently.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin did not drop a single game in the team meet and won their matches against Taiwan and Japan to help the team finish runners-up at the Setia Alam Convention Centre.

The winners of the all-Malaysian clash will likely play Taiwan’s world No. 40 Chang Ko-chi-Po Li-wei in the second round.

Meanwhile, world No. 12 independent pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi were also handed a tough start against China’s world No. 8 Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi while Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun need to navigate a tricky opening match against Japan’s Akira Koga-Taichi Saito.Before the All-England, the Malaysian pairs will all compete in the French Open from March 5-10 in Paris.

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