PETALING JAYA: Lady luck deserted mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying (pic) when it mattered most – in the Australian Open Grand Prix Gold final in Sydney yesterday.
The Malaysian duo missed out on a chance to win their third career title – and their first for the year – when they narrowly lost 20-22, 21-12, 21-23 to Taiwan’s Chen Hung-ling-Cheng Wen-hsing.
In the 63-minute battle, Peng Soon-Liu Ying squandered an 18-15 lead in the opening game while three dubious line calls cost them dear in the rubber.
The 2010 Asian Badminton Championships and 2011 Bitburger Grand Prix Gold winners had been fancied to win the final after a fine run this year, reaching the semi-finals of the Malaysia Open in January and the All-England last month.
But the Taiwanese pair proved a tough nut to crack and Peng Soon-Liu Ying suffered their third loss in four meetings with them.
National mixed doubles coach Jeremy Gan was not pleased with the line judging and umpiring.
“Peng Soon-Liu Ying were leading 8-5 in the rubber game when a shot was called in although it was out. The players’ protest fell on deaf ears. The Taiwanese then turned the match around by taking a 9-8 lead,” said Jeremy.
“Then, the shuttle touched the Taiwanese player but the umpire gave it a let. That was followed by another bad call. Despite all these, Peng Soon-Liu Ying fought hard but luck wasn’t on their side.
“They should have won the first game. After taking an 18-16 lead, they should have gone for the kill but took their time instead and that backfired. This should be a lesson so that they don’t make the same mistake at the Olympics.”
Peng Soon-Liu Ying, expected to move up one rung to seventh in the world rankings this week, will be competing in two more tournaments — the Asian Badminton Championships (April 17-22) and India Open Super Series (April 24-29) — before the Olympic qualifying period ends this month.
In the other finals in Sydney yesterday, Taiwan failed to make it a triple delight when Fang Chieh-min-Lee Sheng-mu and Wen-hsing-Chien Yu-chin lost in the men’s doubles and women’s doubles respectively.
China’s former world champion Chen Jin defeated Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh 21-11, 21-12 for his second straight men’s singles title after lifting the Swiss Open last month.