Experience and composure make the difference for Soon Huat-Shevon in win over Tang Jie-Ee Wei

Dynamic duo: Goh Soon Huat (right) and Shevon Lai Jemie in action against compatriots Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei during the semi-final match. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Old is gold for badminton couple Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Lai Jemie as their experience gave them the emotional stability to topple top seed and compatriots Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei and reach the final of the Malaysian Masters.

The world No. 18 independent mixed doubles pair was a picture of composure as they tamed Tang Jie-Ee Wei 21-11, 21-19 in a 40-minute semi-final match at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Soon Huat-Shevon may have failed to qualify for the Paris Olympics in July but their hunger remains strong as this is their second final appearance this year following the Swiss Open in March, where they were crowned champions after beating Tang Jie-Ee Wei.

Olympics-bound and world No. 9 Tang Jie-Ee Wei struggled to control their emotions, causing disruption to their game and giving Soon Huat-Shevon the opportunity to take control of the match.

What exacerbated the situation further was the court they played on did not have the Hawk-Eye system for challenging calls, which led Tang Jie-Ee Wei to believe they faced several incorrect judgements.

Soon Huat-Shevon believed that their experience came in handy in this situation, enabling them to better control their emotions.

“You can see that they were a bit emotional, so from there, we controlled our emotions and mindset, and focused on the game ... that’s what mattered to both of us,” said Soon Huat, who will be turning 34 next month.

“It’s all about our mindset – thinking about how to play, how to handle crucial points when trailing, and how to maintain the mindset and self-control.

“As for the challenge system, we do hope that every match has it.

“Since the first day, we’ve been playing on court 2, so we already knew there wouldn’t be a challenge system.

“But regardless of the result, we must maintain our mindset.”

Soon Huat-Shevon are the first pair to reach the final in this home tourney since the 2017 edition, where they lost to compatriots Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing in the final. Soon Huat-Shevon will take on Indonesia’s world No. 15 Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas in the final.

The Malaysians hold a strong record against Rinov-Pitha, having triumphed in five out of six meetings, but they remain cautious.

“We’ve met them several times and we won more, but we have to start fresh,” said the 30-year-old Shevon.

“The past results are behind us, we need to focus on preparing for tomorrow (today).

“The most important thing is to take care of our bodies, avoid injuries, and continue to fight for our country.”

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badminton , malaysia , masters


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