National doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky was scathing of his shuttlers’ abysmal performances in the Malaysia Open semi-finals, saying they should start getting the basics right like doing their homework of their opponents.
The Indonesian was referring to Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, who both lost in straight games on Saturday in front of a packed Axiata Arena.
Both pairs were disappointing in their defeats, with Goh-Izzuddin going down tamely 14-21, 12-21 against Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto, while Chia-Soh were no better in their 21-23, 9-21 loss against Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi.
Rexy pointed out an example where Goh-Izzuddin didn’t even know how they beat their Indonesian opponents the only time at the Denmark Open last year.
“I asked them how they won it then, and they didn’t know, which means they did not analyse their victory and did not watch that game again.
“World class shuttlers should not think like this. They should have the confidence. The coaches do review the matches with the players and give them feedback,” said Rexy.
Another example Rexy cited was the manner Chia-Soh gave away easy points against Hoki-Kobayashi.
“They kept lifting the shuttle to the forehand of the Japanese, and not the backhand even though they had a better chance of winning the points. Our players were not confident with their shots.
“It comes down to critical thinking during crucial moments. They should learn from other top pairs. Just look at Hoki-Kobayashi, even though they trailed 14-18 in the first game, they did not give up and ended up winning.
“Watch your matches and learn from that, this is what I always remind the players. And learn to be positive when you are trailing, not only when you are leading,” he added.
Both the pairs' defeat meant Malaysia’s drought for the men’s doubles title on home soil goes on since 2014, where Goh V Shem-Lim Kim Wah were the last pair to triumph.
In fact, since Lee Chong Wei won his last career title at the 2018 Malaysia Open, no other national shuttler reached the final.