Soon Huat-Shevon earn first win after marriage

Malaysia mixed doubles shuttlers Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie in action against South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Eom Hye-won during the first round of Malaysian Masters at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Newlyweds Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie have every reason to be happy after successfully clearing their first-round hurdle in the Malaysian Masters today.

The world No. 18 independent mixed doubles pair broke their duck by securing their first win over South Korea’s world No. 103 Ko Sung-hyun-Eom Hye-won 21-19, 21-17 in the third meeting at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

Soon Huat-Shevon had previously lost to the duo in straight sets in the Indonesian Masters in January 2020 and Japan Open in July last year.

The victory was even more meaningful for Soon Huat-Shevon as it has revitalised their spirits following a shock defeat to Thailand’s world No. 32 Ruttanapak Oupthong-Jhenicha Sudjaipraparat of Thailand in the first round of the Thailand Open last week, which was their first competition after their marriage.

"Securing our first win after getting married has injected us with a fresh sense of spirit," said Shevon. "We lost in the first round last week (in Thailand) and we were not satisfied with our performance.

"We have never beaten this pair (Sung-hyun-Hye-won) in our previous meetings but I think we were well prepared for this match, especially my partner. "I felt very happy with myself that I was able to overcome the fear and doubt stemming from last week's early exit, enabling me to approach today's match with boldness and composure."

Soon Huat-Shevon will face Taiwan’s world No. 28 Yang Po-hsuan-Hu Ling-fang in the second round today. The Malaysian pair hold a slight advantage over Po-hsuan-Ling-fang as they had triumphed in all three of their previous encounters – the Thailand Masters in 2020, Hong Kong Open (last September) and French Open (last October).

"We have to be well-prepared, especially mentally," said Soon Huat. "For me, it’s even more important to be patient on the court.'' Meanwhile, national mixed doubles pair Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei and independent duo Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing defeated Thailand’s world No. 42 Pakkapon Teeraratsakul-Phataimas Muenwong 21-12, 21-14 and Ruttanapak-Jhenicha 21-16, 17-21, 21-19 respectively to cruise into the second round.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei will face India’s world No. 53 B. Sumeeth Reddy-Sikki Reddy while Kian Meng-Pei Jing will play against South Korea’s Wang Chan-Shin Seung-chan in the last 16 today.

However, it was the end of the road for Choong Hon Jian-Go Pei Kee and Yap Roy King-Valeree Siow after going down to Wang Chan-Seung-chan 21-19, 21-16 and Indonesia’s world No. 15 Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas 21-14, 21-12 respectively.

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