US Open: Ready to Go Again

Managing expectations will be the priority for Malaysian men’s pair Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin in ‘Take Two’ of their story.

The assertion was made by Izzuddin after the duo cleared their first match since reuniting, on Tuesday at YONEX US Open 2023.

“Everything went well. We are happy with how we played,” said Izzuddin after the 21-16 21-13 opening round win over Mexicans Job Castillo/Luis Armando Montoya Navarro.

“We have high expectations of ourselves. The key to performing will be managing them effectively. The chemistry hasn’t gone away, so we will work on communicating our tactics better on court.

“We’ve prepared the best we could for our comeback. Our aim going forward is to omit the mistakes we made in the past. Yes, we are ready to go again.”

Having struggled for consistency after winning the German Open last year, Goh and Izzuddin parted ways in January. Following short stints with younger partners, they opted to give their partnership another crack of the whip.

Goh believes the break has made them better players and individuals.

“We are more mature, our time away helped with that. We hope to take this maturity onto the court,” said the 25-year-old. “We did quite well in our first match after so long. We must keep going.”

Goh and Izzuddin also finished Swiss Open runners-up last year.

Making the Paris 2024 Olympic Games remains the dream but there are three Malaysian pairs – Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik (No.4), Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi (No.6) and Man Wei Chong/Tee Kai Wun (No.23) – above Goh and Izzuddin on the BWF World Rankings.

Two pairs from the same country can qualify if both finish in the top eight at the end of the qualifying period in April. Goh and Izzuddin, who play at the Korea, Japan and Australia Opens in the coming three weeks, are convinced they have what it takes to at least run their compatriots close.

“One thing we can bank on is experience, we have played together at this level enough times to know we can compete,” enthused Izzuddin. “Now it’s about preparing well for the upcoming back-to-back tournaments, improving mental strength, maintaining our consistency and training optimally.”

The tandem’s five months of inactivity has plunged them to world No.53 from No.11.

“Our target now is to move back up, we want to be in the top 32 so we don’t have to do qualifying at the bigger tournaments that offer more points,” said Goh.

Goh and Izzuddin’s second round opponents are Americans Chen Zhi Yi/Presley Smith.

The only Malaysians at the competition, they will hope to become the first men’s pair from their country to be champions since Cheah Soon Kit/Soo Beng Kiang in 1992.

Results (Day 1)

Order of play (Day 2)

BWF World Tour News

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