Goh Soon Huat and Lai Shevon Jemie have reason to be upbeat in Singapore – it is where they won their only HSBC BWF World Tour Super 500 title.
In 2018, the Malaysians stunned mixed doubles top seeds and reigning world champions Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir in straight games to lift the Singapore Open winners shield – their last together.
“Singapore has been a special place for us,” Lai said after making the quarterfinal of this edition with a 10-21 21-18 21-10 win over PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2022 runners-up Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari at the very same Singapore Indoor Stadium yesterday.
“This is where we won our first and only Super 500 tournament. To be honest, we are looking forward to getting another title here, to add to our Singapore collection.
“There are challengers, especially pairs from China and Thailand. But knowing it’s a place that has been kind to us, we can try our best in every game confidently and hope to find a breakthrough.”
To achieve that, they first must overcome Hong Kong China’s fourth-seeded Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet, a tandem they have not beaten in five meetings. And now that Goh is nearing full fitness after recovering from food poisoning while competing at the Indonesia Open last month, the world No.15s are better placed to end the unwanted streak.
“It’s taken a bit of time to get the fitness back. My body is not 100 per cent but I’m almost there,” assured Goh.
Goh and Lai have had a decent 2022, finishing Swiss Open runners-up and Korea Masters semifinalists.
Success today, incidentally, will send the on-and-off-court partners into a first Super 500 semifinal since their 2018 title run. That, could well be the breakthrough they are looking for in ‘special’ Singapore.