PETALING JAYA: The national men pair of Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Lin Woon Fui want to get back in good books of national coach Rexy Mainaky by winning the National Grand Prix Finals title for the second time.
The duo, who were the champions at the 2005 GP Finals, are the top seeds in the championships, which begin on Thursday in Kuala Terengganu.
They have been drawn in the Group A with the country's current hot combination of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, who are riding high after winning at the Asian Games in Doha last December and the Malaysian Open last month.
The others in the group are Project 2010-12 pair Khoo Chung Chiat-Mohd Razif Latif and the Bukit Jalil Sports School's (BJJS) Ong Jian Guo-Goh Wei Shen.
After being criticized and reprimanded by Rexy for their poor showing in the first two international Open tournaments this year in Malaysia and South Korea, Fairuzizuan hoped that they would make their coach smile again.
The coach wants us to do well in the All-England (March 6-11).
But we hope to bounce back earlier by doing well at the national meet. Winning the title for the second time will be great. We will be out to achieve it, said Fairuzizuan.
Fairuzizuan-Woon Fui failed to clear the early rounds in both the Malaysian and Korean Opens, losing to lower ranked pairs.
As a result, Rexy has decided not to field them for the Swiss Open, which will be held in Basel from March 13-18.
A good showing in the national meet will be good head of the All-England. We reached the semi-finals last year, said Fairuzizuan.
On Kien Keat-Boon Heong, Fairuzizuan said: They have done well. But we know each others game so well. We have a shot at winning against them.
At the Kuala Lumpur Open last year, they were the winners in the semi-finals but they went on to lose to Chan Chong Ming-Hoon Thein How.
Chong Ming-Thien How are in Group B with Gan Teik Chai-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif, Tan Bin Shen-Ong Soon Hock and Lim Khim Wah-Mak Hee Chun.
The top two pairs in each group advance to crossover semi-finals.