Photo credit: Badmintonthaitoday.com
The finals of the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters were played in Bangkok today. Malaysia’s two independent pairs had reached each their final and it turned out to be a good day for the four players.
It was same procedure as last year – just like in the famous comedy sketch “Dinner for one” from 1963 – when Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying reached the final of Thailand Masters this year. One year ago they went all the way and won the tournament as 5th seeded. That time they won in three games against Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Puttita Supajirakul.
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Today the scene was set again with three of the four players in action. Sapsiree Taerattanachai had replaced Puttita Supajirakul and together with Dechapol Puavaranukroh she was battling for gold on home soil. Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying entered the tournament this year as top seeded. They hadn’t lost any games on their way to the final so the Malaysians were favorites today.
Twice in a row
In three previous encounters between the finalists it was the Malaysian duo that had won all the times. They hadn’t met each other since April 2016 though so today you couldn’t use statistics from the past for very much. It was however the Malaysians who once again were in control in beginning of the final.
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Chan and Goh rocketed off in first game, where they had the lead all the way to 21. They went to mid-game interval with an 11-6 lead and there was basically never any doubt of the winners in first game. Second game brought Puavaranukroh and Taerattanachai back into the match and mid-way through the game it was the Thais who were up with 11-9.
After the short break the Malaysians were back in control though. Chan and Goh took the following seven points and ended up taking the victory in straight games. That gives Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying a clean sheet for the week with straight game wins all the way, and they repeated the story by taking the Thailand Masters title twice in a row.
Copy/paste in men’s double final
In the men’s double final the winners made a kind of copy/paste of the mixed double winners. Once again we saw Malaysians on one side of the court as Goh V. Shem and Tan Wee Kiong had made it into Sunday’s finals. Just like their compatriots in mixed double the two were top seeded and they hadn’t lost any games on the way to the final either.
Today Goh V. Shem and Tan Wee Kiong were up against opponents from Chinese Taipei. The 5th seeded Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han had been forced into three games in three of their matches during the week though so their way to the final had been a bit longer. Today the Malaysians were favorites in what was the first encounter ever between the two pairs.
Another clean sheet
Malaysia took the second title of two as Goh V. Shem and Tan Wee Kiong proved too strong for their Taiwanese opponents. Goh and Tan won in straight games and completed a perfect week with two clean sheets for the two top seeded Malaysian entries.
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With these results it is a bit interesting to think of the fact that Goh Liu Ying, Chan Peng Soon, Goh V. Shem and Tan Wee Kiong have just gone independent as they left the Malaysian national training at the end of 2018.
The four Malaysians helped coaching each other during the week during their matches. We can only conclude this first tournament as independent players has been a big success for them. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the year has in the bag for the mixed double and men’s double winners of Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters 2019.
Results from the Thailand Masters finals:
XD: Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying, MAS (1) vs. Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai, THA (2) 21-16 21-15
MD: Goh V. Shem/Tan Wee Kiong, MAS (1) vs. Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han, TPE (5) 21-13 21-17