MALAYSIA OPEN 2011 Day 2 – Defending champs chased out

Malaysia’s top men’s doubles pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong crashed out in the first round of the 2011 Proton Malaysia Open Super Series, losing to the […]

Malaysia’s top men’s doubles pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong crashed out in the first round of the 2011 Proton Super Series, losing to the new Chinese pairing of Shen Ye and Hong Wei.

By Adrian Kok, Badzine Correspondent live in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

China has been demonstrating its depth in various ways in the last decade.  In the last few years some phenomenal athletes – including Zheng Bo, Wang Xin, and Tao Jiaming – have returned mid-career from hiatuses of various lengths, where they have been limited mostly limited to domestic play, to make a big impact on the international scene.  The latest of this category could be Hong Wei and Shen Ye.  After a rather shaky start in the fall, these two have made their mark early on the 2011 Super Series by dumping the defending champions and local favourites.

Koo/Tan had a great start to the first game, where Koo dominated the front court, intercepting all the shots from the Chinese pair. Tan’s push shot to the rear court put the Malaysians in the lead for the mid-game interval with a score of 11-9. The anxious Chinese pair made several mistakes smashing into the net numerous times. This gave Koo/Tan a comfortable lead until a drive from Hong went out and gave Koo/Tan the winning point for the first game 21-16.

In the second game, Shen/Hong were more confident with their game. This gave them an early lead and although Koo/Tan began to fight back, the Malaysians began to struggle and trailed behind Shen/Hong from the mid-game interval onwards. A couple of instances of miscommunication for both Koo/Tan made it worst as they were attempting to cover each other. Tan still managed to pull off a great shot from around the back, but to no avail as Shen easily nailed it for decisive point of 18-19. The Chinese pair won the second game 18-21with tap at the net from Shen.

As the third game progressed, Shen did not like what seemed to be Koo blocking the net and later tapping the shot. Shen protested with the referee for close to five minutes. The game did proceed after much persuasion from the referee. It was nail-biting rubber game as both pairs rained down thunderous smashes against each other. Koo/Tan could not close the 4-point lead and the final score-line favoured the Chinese pair 21-16.

“We feel that our opponents knew our game inside out.  We tried everything but they seemed to know what we were going to do next,” said a disappointed Koo at the post-match interview, adding that this forced them to play a defensive game.

“We both need to rethink our strategies and tactics to stay competitive.”

For complete results from Day 2 of the 2011 Proton Malaysia Open Super Series, CLICK HERE

About Adrian Kok