Time for Aaron-Wooi Yik to shine

KUALA LUMPUR: Bring on the spirit of 2018!

World No 6 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik believe they can reproduce their remarkable form from the Nanjing World Championships to shed their nearly-men tag at next week's Tokyo edition.

Aaron-Wooi Yik, who won the men's doubles bronze at the recent Birmingham Commonwealth Games, will be making their fourth world meet appearance in Tokyo, which begins on Monday.

The Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists have a reputation for crumbling in the latter stages of tournaments.

And five years into their partnership, the pair have yet to win an Open title.

This season, the world No 6 made one final and six semi-finals. They were finallists at the Asia Championships in the Philippines in May.

Aaron said: "We are ready to go back to the basics to achieve the next step. Perhaps being the underdogs is the best way to go (in Tokyo)."

In 2018, Aaron-Wooi Yik announced their arrival on the international stage by reaching the quarter-finals at the World Championships.

"We have been looking for ways to secure our breakthrough. I do not doubt that we will get there eventually as long as we do not give up," said Aaron.

"I think it is time to take things simpler like how when we first started as a pair. We had no fear and pressure then.

"I feel this is an option to get the best out of our partnership.

"In Nanjing, we were a new pair, and we managed to reach the quarter-finals. It remains our best result in the world meet."

With a first-round bye, Aaron-Wooi Yik will likely open their campaign in the second round against Taiwan's Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han. The Malaysians have not lost to the world No 23 in three meetings.

If they win, Aaron-Wooi Yik, the sixth seeds, will likely face compatriots Nur Izzuddin Rumsani-Goh Sze Fei in the third round.

Others in the bottom half of the draw are Taiwan's reigning Olympic champions Lee Yang-Wang Chi Lin, Japan's Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi, India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and Indonesia's All Shobihul Fikri-Bagas Maulana of Indonesia.

"Although many great pairs are in the same half of the draw, I believe Izzuddin-Sze Fei will be our biggest hurdle.

"We will have to be at our best if we face them in the third round. A victory will see us reach the quarter-finals for the first time in the world meet since Nanjing.

"It is not easy when you play a teammate. We train together daily and know each other's game very well," Aaron added.

Indonesia's Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo are the top seeds, followed by Hoki-Kobayashi, Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan and Lee Yang-Chi Lin.

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