Run in Australian Open will set Aaron-Kang in good stead for gold bid at Asian Junior Championships

Good exposure: Aaron Tai (front) and Kang Khai Xing are down to play in the Australian Open.

PETALING JAYA: Men’s doubles shuttlers Aaron Tai-Kang Khai Xing have a good opportunity to gain valuable experience before the Asian Junior Championships when they compete in the Australian Open starting today in Sydney.

Aaron-Khai Xing, who are Malaysia’s best bet to win gold in the Asian junior meet from June 28-July 7 in Yogyakarta will be making their debuts in a World Tour Super 500 tourney first.

The pair will get to play in Australia after many top pairs decided to skip the tournament to focus on the Paris Olympics next month.

National junior head coach Jeffer Rosobin believes competing in Australia will be helpful to Aaron-Khai Xing’s preparations for the Asian Juniors.

“The Australian tourney will be Aaron-Khai Xing’s last tournament before the Asian Juniors and it will give them a lot of experience,” said Jeffer.

“Their preparations have been good and my hope is for them to get the best possible result there.”

Aaron-Khai Xing’s biggest senior tournament before this was the Super 100 KL Masters last November where they made it to the second round from the qualifiers.

The pair, who are currently ranked No. 107 in the world, then did much better in the Thailand International Challenge in March where they went all the way to capture the title.

Aaron, 17, and Khai Xing, 18, also impressed by winning the Dutch Junior International and finishing runners-up in the German Junior.

In the Australian tourney, Aaron-Khai Xing have been drawn against homesters Brandan Wang-Jordan Wang in the first round.

Meanwhile, the other Malaysian men’s doubles pairs in the fray are Choong Hon Jian-Mohd Haikal Nazri, Yap Roy King-Wan Arif Wan Junaidi, Tan Wee Kiong-Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub and newcomers Keane Chok-Andy Kok.

In the men’s singles, world No. 7 Lee Zii Jia has been given top seed status and will open his campaign against India’s S. Sankar Muthusamy.

A win will likely see Zii Jia play fellow Malaysian Soong Joo Ven in the second round.

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