Badminton

It's pro pair vs BAM duo as Yew Sin-Ee Yi race with Sze Fei-Izzuddin for World Tour ticket

KUALA LUMPUR: While Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik have booked their spot in the season-ending World Tour Finals, the fight is on for two other Malaysian men's doubles — professionals Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, and national duo Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani.

The US$1.5 million (RM7 million) event, scheduled for Dec 14-18 in Guangzhou, will only feature the top eight players and pairs from the World Tour this year. Each country is only allowed to enter two players or pairs in each of the five categories.

By virtue of being world champions this year, world No 4 Aaron-Wooi Yik have qualified for the tournament, but Yew Sin-Ee Yi and Sze Fei-Izzuddin are still battling neck and neck for the final slot.

Based on the most recent World Tour rankings, Yew Sin-Ee Yi are at No 5, while Sze Fei-Izzuddin are just a rung below them.

With only four more World Tour tournaments on the calendar before the Finals, the race is on between both Malaysian pairs.

For Sze Fei-Izzuddin, it is about redemption. After a good start to the season, the world No 10 suffered a dip in form after the Malaysia Open in August, which even resulted in the pair having a fallout with the local media.

Speaking to Timesport, Sze Fei stressed that he and Izzuddin not only want to bury the past, but are also looking forward to making a memorable debut at the World Tour Finals.

"It will be a close fight, but Izzuddin and I really want this because we have never played in the World Tour Finals before.

"The ranking points are also very high, it's like a Super 1000 event. Hopefully, we will get to produce some good results in Denmark and France to make the cut.

"Our performance has been really bad since the Malaysia Open, and we want to bounce back after the long break since the Japan Open last month," said Sze Fei.

The Super 750 Denmark Open is the next big tournament on Oct 18-23, followed by the Super 750 French Open (Oct 25-30), Hylo Open (Nov 1-6) in Germany, and the Australia Open (Nov 15-20).

Meanwhile, BAM doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky said that top women's doubles shuttler Pearly Tan is about 90 per cent ready to play in Denmark.

After monitoring Pearly for weeks after she sustained a knee injury at the Japan Open, Rexy is confident that she is ready for top flight badminton again, with her partner M.Thinaah.

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