KUALA LUMPUR: Could there be an off court issue troubling Malaysia's top women's doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah?
The former French Open champions did not communicate at all on court today, as they fell in the opening round of the China Masters in Shenzhen.
Pearly-Thinaah, who have faced several setbacks this season, mainly injuries to the former, lost 21-11, 15-21, 22-20 to South Korea's Jeong Na Eun-Kim Hye Jeong.
Since the world No. 12 did not qualify for the World Tour Finals next month, the defeat put an end to their 2023 season.
In the post-match interview with the Badminton World Federation, Pearly could barely speak as she fought back her tears.
"The match was very tough and very tense, point by point but in the end the Koreans were braver and more consistent than us," lamented Pearly.
"This year we faced a lot of ups and downs. More downs than ups but it's something we need to look back at before the start of next year.
"Next year is a very important year, we want to put this behind us and start fresh. Get our mindset right," said Thinaah.
The China Masters was only the second tournament for Pearly-Thinaah since returning from a lengthy injury layoff after the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Last week at the Kumamoto Masters in Japan, the Malaysian pair did well to reach the quarter-finals despite the low expectations.