No bad blood between Kian Meng-Pei Jing and Tang Jie-Ee Wei

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite falling behind in the pecking order, there was never any bad blood between the seasoned mixed doubles duo Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Malaysia's current No. 1 Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei.

In fact, the world No. 25 Kian Meng-Pei Jing are happy for their younger compatriots, who did well to break into the top 10 in just one year.

Kian Meng-Pei Jing, who turned pro in 2021, said having more younger pairs move up the ranks bodes well for the country's mixed doubles scene.

"Since the beginning, I knew Tang Jie was a good player. He has the speed and power," said Pei Jing after testing the courts at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on Sunday, ahead of this week's Super 1000 Malaysia Open.

"I believe the timing (to peak) is just right, and I feel happy for them. They are, after all, representing Malaysia.

"But of course, we will continue to fight and challenge them," added Pei Jing, who also shared that she is still recovering from a viral infection.

Separately, Kian Meng feels Malaysia have never failed to produce proper mixed doubles players after the reign of Rio Olympics silver medallists Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.

"This is the new generation of players. First, there was Peng Soon-Liu Ying, then Pei Jing and myself, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, and now Tang Jie-Ee Wei.

"Although we are independent players now, we still feel happy for them," he said.

While qualifying for the Paris Olympics may no longer be a realistic target, Kian Meng-Pei Jing are committed to doing well this week for Malaysian fans.

"We're always excited to play on home soil because of all the fans. I really can't wait to play for them," Pei Jing said.

Kian Meng-Pei Jing will play world No. 7 Kim Won Ho-Jeong Na Eun of South Korea in the opening round.

Despite their opponents' far superior ranking, Kian Meng-Pei Jing have a better head-to-head (2-1) record, coming out victorious in their last encounter at the Kumamoto Masters in Japan in November.

"Last year was a really bad season for us; we're not satisfied with how we played. Hopefully with the new year, we can challenge ourselves again.

"Our opponents in the first round will be tough, but we won the last time. It will be great if we can repeat that," added Pei Jing.

Apart from Tang Jie-Ee Wei, who will play France's Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue in the first round, the other Malaysian mixed pairs in the competition are world No. 15 Soon Huat-Shevon and last year's KL Masters champions Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See.

Soon Huat-Shevon will play England's Gregory Mairs-Jenny Mairs in the opening round, while Peng Soon-Yee See will face Taiwan's Chang Ko Chi-Lee Chih Chen.

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