National women’s doubles coach Hoon Thien How viewed the on-court rift between Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah at the China Masters last week as a desire of both shuttlers’ wanting to win the match badly.

Tan-Thinaah had crashed out in the opening round following a three game defeat against South Korean pair Jeong Na-eun-Kim Hye-jeong, a loss that was compounded after both Malaysians did not speak to each other on court throughout the match.

Hoon explained the issue started in the first game when there were mistakes creeping up from the pair.

“This is normal in doubles. It’s actually good that they had this misunderstanding due to a performance issue, it shows us coaches how much they wanted to win. At least they did not get into a fistfight!

“I spoke to them after that and it was fine. Mistakes will be there, nobody can run away from that but owning up to them is important,” Hoon told StadiumAstro.

Tan-Thinaah’s season ended after that early setback in China, which also meant they missed out on the season finale World Tour Finals in Hangzhou next month.

An injury to Tan after the Asian Games ruled the pair out of the Arctic, Denmark and French Open which left them short of racking up the points to qualify for the Hangzhou meet.

Hoon said Tan had not complained of any uneasiness since returning from injury, but warned of future implications.

“An explosive player like Pearly can be suspect to injury. This is because she tends to move a lot when playing and when she injures her back she tends to borrow energy from other parts of her body that are not as strong.

“Right now, she needs to work on strengthening her core. It’s not just that, good nutrition and enough rest also plays an important part to ensure she stays injury free,” Hoon added.

Due to the gruelling calendar next year, there are plans to enter the world number 12 pair only in selected tournaments in the Paris Olympics qualifying cycle.

“As of now, we are targeting for them to play in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, All-England and the Badminton Asia Championships for next year,” he said.

Tan-Thinaah’s best results this year came at the Malaysia Masters and Hong Kong Open which saw them finish runners-up.