Now that they have clinched the Swiss Open title, M.Thinaah-Pearly Tan will receive plenty of attention when they fly in to Birmingham to compete at the prestigious All-England Open (March 17-21), armed with bags of confidence.
It won’t just be fans who are eager to see how far they progress, the other competing pairs will also be wary of them, especially Thai duo Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajonglai who play them in the first round.
The field at the world’s oldest badminton tournament is much stronger compared to the just concluded Super 300 event.
The Japanese pairs are back in the fold, and the likes of Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota, Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara and Indonesians Greysia Polli-Apriyani Rahayu will be the ones to beat.
Expecting Thinaah-Pearly to emulate their heroics in this Super 1000 event is asking a lot, but if they can upset a couple of higher ranked pairs in England, it will be a Euro tour to be cherished.
“I hope the victory in Basel will build our confidence and motivation in future tournaments, beginning with the All-England. We fought till the end at the Swiss Open, and we hope to keep this momentum going,” said Thinaah.
In Basel, the world number 30 pair did what the rest of the Malaysians could not do: They worked hard as a team, always communicated with each other and fought for every shuttle until the winning point.
Against Stefani Stoeva-Gabriela Stoeva, both women were impeccable in their defence, and played the right attacking shots at the right moments for the straight game victory.
Their attitude also says a lot about them, not wanting to bask in this success too much and wanting to take on stronger opponents to improve.
Chan Chong Ming also has to be given credit for his work with the women’s doubles contingent since coming on board the national team last July.
Besides this pair, he has galvanized Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean who are now ranked in the top 10.
Chow-Lee will skip the All-England to focus on securing a berth at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia have not made it mandatory for Olympic bound shuttlers to compete in Birmingham, as the event does not offer Olympic ranking points.