After a success-laden year, the Malaysian doubles’ contingent will aim to cap off the 2022 season with a final hurrah as they prepare to do battle at the World Tour Finals (WTF), which begins tomorrow in Bangkok.
The country’s doubles pairings have been in great form, with Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah capturing the Commonwealth Games gold medal and the French Open title.
Sandwiched between their successes is a maiden World Championships title for the country through men’s doubles Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik in August.
Both pairings will be in action in Bangkok, along with four other Malaysian combinations.
Here, we take a look at each of the pairs’ chances leading up to the season finale.
Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik
Chia-Soh made it to the WTF after gaining automatic entry as the reigning world champions. Looking at their draws in Group B, the world number four should make it to the semi-finals as the top two pairings. But it won’t be easy, as they will come up against serious competition against China’s Liu Yu Chen-Ou Xuan Yi and Indonesians Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan, who will be looking for that world championships final redemption. Chia-Soh are expected to beat Danish pair Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen on paper.
Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi
This pair are on a good run heading into the WTF, after recently reaching the Australian Open final before they were ousted by Liu-Ou. Prior to that, they also reached the Denmark Open semis and the French Open last eight.
Ong-Teo should have a tough time in what is considered the group of death that is Group A. They will have to contend against world number one and three Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi and Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto, who have won six titles between them this year. Choi Sol-gyu-Kim Won-ho are also tough customers, so Ong-Teo will need their A-game in all three duels to stand a chance.
Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah
French Open champions Tan-Thinaah have been preparing well since winning in Paris, and will need to bring every bit of that form at the WTF in a competitive Group B. They are housed together with world champions Chen Qing Chen-Jia Yi Fan, who are expected to top the standings. If that happens, then it could be a direct shootout between the Malaysians and Indonesia’s Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia for a place in the semis.
Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien
On paper, the Malaysians do not look likely to make it out of Group A which contains Japan and Korea Open champions Jeong Na-eun-Kim Hye Jeong. With the formidable Thai pairings of Benyapa-Nuntakarn Aimsaard and Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajonglai also for company, Hoo-Lim could stand an outside chance if they do well in their opening match.
Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai
The couple should fancy their chances after being drawn in Group A along with Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong, Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue and Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas. While the Chinese world champions are odds on to top the group, Goh-Lai will be confident of earning wins against their French and Indonesian opponents. The Malaysians are on a 2-2 head-to-head record against Gicquel-Delrue, and have beaten Rinov-Pitha in all three previous encounters.
Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing
The Korea Open champions have not hit the heights since their biggest win in April, and are up against formidable opponents in Group B. They have Thai stalwarts Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai, Wang Yi Lyu-Huang Dong Ping and Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran to contend with. If they can beat Supak-Supissara and nick another success against the other two favourites, the Malaysians will exceed expectations to make it out of this group.