SINGAPORE (July 22): Malaysian mixed doubles pair Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Jemie Lai beat the world number one pair Liliyana Natsir-Tontowi Ahmad of Indonesia at the final of the Singapore Badminton Open tournament Sunday.
The world’s number eight just took 36 minutes to tame the first seeded pair to end the game 21-19, 21-18.
"This means a lot to us because this was our first, and of course it gave us a lot of experience and I hope there will be more to come," said Shevon when asked to comment on winning the Singapore Open title. The final, held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, saw the second seeded pair meeting the Indonesian duo, who had won the Singapore Open three times over four participations, for the first time.
Soon Huat-Shevon took home US$28,045 by winning the category.
Asked on their strategy for winning the game as they were seen attacking a lot, Shevon said : “Yes, they have more experience than us, so our game plan was to stay on the offensive.”
“It is normal for them to change the game and to get points. It’s to be expected as they are a more experienced pair. So when they catch up, we just have to be steady in our game. Just had to follow our plan,” she added.
Soon Huat-Shevon entered the quarter-finals after beating Xiangyu Ren-Tang Jinhua from China before crushing Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas Mentari of Indonesia for the semis.
At the semi-finals on Saturday, the Malaysian duo defeated Thai Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai straight games 21-18, 21-14.
The duo also said that they were honoured to play against Liliyana-Tontowi as “everyone knows they are not only the world’s number one pair, but also Olympic champions as well.”
“They are champions numerous times, so to be able to play against them was an honour for us,” said Goh, adding that “and we know that she (Liliyana) will be retiring soon, so it’s our pleasure to be (playing) against them.”
Going ahead, Shevon noted that the latest title has further boosted their confidence for their participations in the BWF World Championships to be held at the end of this month in Nanjing, China.
Shevon was paired with Soon Huat, a former men's singles badminton player, in November 2016.
The pair had earlier won the German Open in March.