ALL-ENGLAND BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPSNATIONAL INDOOR ARENA, BIRMINGHAM
MIXED doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying walked out with frustration written all over their faces.
They knew they blew their chance of becoming the first Malaysian mixed pair to reach the final of the All-England after going down fighting 25-27, 16-21 to Indonesians Tantowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir at the National Indoor Arena yesterday.
It was their third defeat to the Indonesians but it will go into the record as the closest one.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying had set up a clash with Tantowi-Lilyana after their spectacular win over home favourites Chris Adcock-Imogen Bankier of England on Friday.
Then, Liu Ying, who took pain killers for her back problem, overcame the pain barrier to form a lethal partnership with Peng Soon for a 21-16, 15-21, 21-17 win over the English pair. Yesterday though, Peng Soon-Liu Ying just could not nick it although they played with much passion and determination to win.
And Peng Soon was a shattered man.
“I feel bad because we had a chance out there today. We should have won the opening game and that would have changed the outcome,” lamented Peng Soon.
It was a thrilling opening match but one that the Malaysians will rue for a long time. Both pairs locked horns from the start and when the Indonesians pulled away at 16-13 and 20-18, the stubborn Malaysians just refused to give up.
A ding dong battle followed and the Malaysians even had the advantage at 25-24 but failed to capitalise.
The Indonesians took charge in the second game but Peng Soon-Liu Ying did make a late comeback but it was all in vain with the World No. 4 romping home to a win.
“We played too hastily in the end. We should have been calmer and tried to control the situation and not let our emotions get to us,” said Peng Soon.
“Overall, it was still a good outing for us to come this far and hopefully, we will become more steady,” he said.
Liu Ying was as heart-broken as Peng Soon.
“I did not take a painkiller for my back today because I felt better but I could not play as well.
“I did try my best but committed some silly mistakes,” said Liu Ying.
“I will take some rest and re-look into this back problem. I will be playing in the Swiss Open and must be careful so that I will not get injured again,” she said.