PETALING JAYA: The top Malaysian women's doubles pair of Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty can achieve a career breakthrough in the US$50,000 Dutch Open starting in Eindhoven next Wednesday.
In the absence of top Chinese and South Korean pairs, Eei Hui and Pei Tty have been named as the top seeds for the tournament. Also giving the event a miss this year are the world number six pair of T. Saralee-C. Sathinee from Thailand.
National coach Cheah Soon Kit believes the Malaysian pair can land their first international title this time as they are in the relatively easier half of the draw.
English pair Donna Kellogg-Gail Emms and Japanese Reiko Shiota-Kumiko Ogura, ranked ninth and 10th in the world respectively, have been placed together in the bottom half of the draw.
Dutch pair Lotte Bruil and Mia Audina, the hosts' best hope of winning the women's doubles title, have also been grouped together with the English and Japanese pairs.
“These are the only pairs who can possibly threaten Eei Huo-Pei Tty.
“Eei Hui-Pei Tty are currently ranked seventh in the world and they have been making the quarter-finals consistently since the start of the year. But it's also time they start aiming higher. They have yet to win an international title and I hope they can achieve it this time,” he said.
Pei Tty-Eei Hui beat the Japanese en route to reaching the final of the recent Indonesian Open.
However, the Malaysian pair's first appearance in the final of a six-star tournament only lasted 29 minutes. Eei Hui-Pei Tty lost 4-15, 5-15 to World Championships bronze medallists Lee Hyo-jung-Lee Kyung-won of South Korea.
Soon Kit added that it was important for Eei Hui-Pei Tty to win their first international title.
“They were a bundle of nerves in the final (in Indonesia). They did not have the confidence.
“The Dutch Open will be a good platform to give them the confidence in their abilities. It is a different feeling once you have won a title, said Soon Kit, who has been there before.
“I was just 18 when I partnered Ong Beng Teong to win my first international title (in the Swiss Open in 1987). My confidence grew after that,” he recalled.
Eei Hui-Pei Tty will not be the only Malaysian pair tagged as top seeds. Shuttler Mohd Hafiz Hashim, the current world number eight, is also the top seed but he will have to watch out for Japan's second seed Shoji Sato and Dane Anders Boesen.
Modh Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and Lin Woon Fui are also the top seeds in the men's doubles and they have a chance to make it an all-Malaysian affair with the resurgent Lee Wan Wah-Choong Tan Fook.