Roy King-Arif aim higher after positive show in Spain Masters

PETALING JAYA: Men’s doubles pair Wan Arif Wan Junaidi-Yap Roy King deserve a pat on the back although they have missed out on a chance to clinch their maiden World Tour title.

In their first World Tour final appearance at the Spain Masters on Sunday, the pair fought hard before going down 18-21, 21-17, 19-21 to world No. 34 Sabar Karyaman-Moh Reza Pahlevi of Indonesia in Madrid.

The positive outing will now be a catalyst to boost their confidence as they move on to face tougher playing field in the future.

Roy King was happy as it was his best outing since returning from knee injury.

“This is my second tournament of the year since my injury, so it definitely is a confidence boost and shows that we can compete with players in a Super 300 event, even if they are ranked higher,” said Roy King.

“In the final, our opponents were more confident than us in the way they returned the shuttle with speed and quality.

“They followed their strategy really well.”

The world No. 65 Malaysians had been absent in competitions for the past three months after Roy King suffered a knee injury while competing at the Syed Modi International in India in December.

They returned to the court at the Swiss Open last week but were sent home in the second round by compatriots Man Wei Chong-Kai Wun Tee.

Before meeting in the final in Spain, Arif-Roy King had met Sabar-Reza only three times, with the Indonesians winning two of those encounters.

The Malaysians’ only victory was at the Vietnam International Challenge in August.

Arif was equally relieved.

“We had targeted to reach the quarter-finals but we did better.

“It’s good to reach the final despite Roy King just recovering from his injury,” said Arif.

Arif-Roy King have only one title under their belt so far after winning the Nantes International Challenge in France in March last year.

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