Another poor show by local shuttlers in Malaysia Open

KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 9 Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei were a big disappointment as the host's interest in the Petronas Malaysia Open mixed doubles competition was all over in the last 16 stage today.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei failed to live up to their status as eighth seeds, succumbing to a 24-22, 21-14 defeat against Hiroki Midorikawa-Natsu Saito of Japan at Axiata Arena.

This loss not only marked their failure to avenge a previous defeat by the world No. 13 in the first round of the Indonesia Open in June last year but also signaled a decline in performance compared to their quarter-final outing last year.

Tang Jie was lost for words when trying to explain the loss during the post-match press conference.

"What happened? I haven't had a chance to reflect on it, the match just concluded. I'm unable to provide you with a specific answer right away. All we feel at the moment is disappointment," said Tang Jie.

Reflecting on their previous defeat, Tang Jie said the pair did attempt a different strategy, but their Japanese opponents proved to be a step ahead.

"We did try something different, but they are a very formidable pair. They adjusted their game against us and performed better. We need to elevate our performance in every aspect."

Ee Wei offered only a few words, saying: "We simply weren't good enough today."

National Director of Coaching Rexy Mainaky took Tang Jie-Ee Wei to task as he found it hard to comprehend their inconsistent performance.

"If only they could control their emotions better. They managed to do that against the French pair (Thom Gicquel-Delphin Delrue) during their first-round victory, where they had previously struggled," said Rexy.

"But that certainly wasn't the case today against the Japanese. Tang Jie-Ee Wei lost their patience when faced with difficulty in scoring points.

"For instance, at one point, Tang Jie just kept hitting smashes hastily and without emotional control. There were also occasions when Tang Jie did not make the effort to retrieve the shuttle at the back of the court, hoping to gain easy points from the opponents' errors. This should not happen to players of their calibre."

It was also the end of the road for independent pairs Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai and Chan Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See. Soon Huat-Shevon were defeated 21-15, 21-12 by Thailand's Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai while Peng Soon-Yee See lost to China's Jiang Zhen Bang-Wei Ya Xin 21-14, 21-14.

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