KUALA LUMPUR: National men's doubles Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong played it safe at the recent National Championships as they aim to come out stronger at the German Open this week and the All England after that.
On Saturday, the former World No 1 pair bagged their maiden national title, but not after a hard fought 21-17, 19-21, 21-15 win over independent shuttlers Mohd Arif Abdul Latif-Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub in the final at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara.
When asked if they were saving their best for the European tournaments, Wee Kiong said: "It is definitely one of the reasons why we did not push ourselves.
"Hopefully we get to do better than our previous outing, when we reached the quarter-finals of the All England last year. However, first up is the German Open."
Since winning the World Super Series Final title in Dubai in 2016, the Rio Olympic Games silver medallists suffered a drastic dip in form, barely making any impact in 2017.
As a result, the BA of Malaysia (BAM) split them in September, only to reunite them four months later to strengthen the national men's team ahead of major tournaments such as the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next month, the Thomas Cup in Bangkok in May and the Asian Games in Indonesia in August.
At the previous All England, V Shem-Wee Kiong were sent packing in the last eight, after going down in straight games to China's Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen.
Winning a title in Europe could serve as a huge confidence boost for the Malaysians, but they are not expected to have an easy ride.
This week at the Germany Open, V Shem-Wee Kiong, face a tricky opener against Japana's Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe on Wednesday.
Also in the bottom half of the men's doubles draw are second seeds Mads Conrad Petersen-Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark and eighth seeds Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han.
The other Malaysian pair in the fray are national No 2 Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi. They open their campaign in Mulheim against fourth seeds Lee Jhe Huei-Lee Yang of Taiwan.