Malaysia women's doubles coach Hoon Thien How admitted he was astonished at how long Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah lasted on court in their run-up to the Malaysia Masters final.
In total, Tan-Thinaah played a total of 434 minutes, including a one hour and 51 minute battle against Japan’s fourth seeds in the quarter-finals.
“I have never seen anything like it, extraordinary. Pearly had just recovered from Influenza and for her to last this long is amazing. But they will need more power to compete with the top Japanese and South Korean pairs.
“We have changed their style to play like the men’s doubles, which is why you see them attacking a lot. Before this it was playing a lot of lob balls, now you can see it's much faster.
“We do get them to spar with the men’s doubles too, but not on a daily basis as the men’s speed and power may be too much for them,” he said.
Tan-Thinaah did their best to throw the kitchen sink at champions Baek Ha-na-Lee Soo-hee in the deciding game, but the South Koreans stood firm to get the 22-20, 8-21, 21-17 win.
Hoon said the South Koreans are on a different level when it comes to sturdy defending.
“They were smashing hard to try and kill the shuttles. It may have been different if they tried to use some angled returns or even play more drop shots. The South Koreans have immaculate defence, a couple of smashes will not break them,” he added.
Tan-Thinaah were on their final legs as the match drew to an end, with Thinaah needing a time out as she complained of nausea with one point left to play.
Tan later paid tribute to her partner, saying: "Thank you for being an absolute rock. Watching you give your all in every game was truly inspiring and I have no doubt we will come back stronger as a team."
The world number 11 pair are scheduled to compete at next week’s Singapore Open.