KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — Taiwan Open men’s doubles champions Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun have yet to reach the level of performance that the fans demand to see in every tournament, although the pair managed to defend the title on Sunday and made it to the final of the Malaysian Masters.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Rexy Mainaky is aware that fans had very high expectations for the pair, especially after emerging as the runner-up in the Malaysia Masters but the pair suffered disappointing early exits in the subsequent two tournaments, namely the Singapore Open and Indonesia Open.

“To me it is only logic because their performance at the Malaysian Masters was not a fluke, since they beat some of the top pairs in the world and marched into the final where they narrowly missed the title.

“Therefore, they have the ability and capabilities, just a lack of responsibility to fulfill the expectations of the fans,” he told reporters after a training session here today.

However, Rexy was pleased with the fighting spirit of Wei Chong-Kai Wun who managed to avenge their defeats in the 2023 Singapore Open and 2023 Indonesia Open to Taiwan pair Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han when the two pairs met in the final of the Taiwan Open.

Rexy hopes the pair can excel at higher level competitions like the BWF’s Super 500, 750 and 1000 tournaments to be on par with all the top pairs in the world.

The former doubles specialist from Indonesia was also amazed with the muted celebrations from Wei Chong-Kai Wun after being crowned as the 2023 Taiwan Open champions.

“Wei Chong-Kai Wun are aware of their level and do not want to be overconfident or put unnecessary pressure on themselves. They must prove themselves,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rexy is hoping that three pairs under his charge would be able to break into the top 20 ranked teams in the world by end of the year.

Based on the BWF world rankings released as of June 20, only defending world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are in the top tier — fourth spot — while the country’s professional pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi are in sixth spot.

He added that Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani who were reunited after a brief separation due to a misunderstanding between them, are also in with a shout to reach the top 20, because they have now climbed to 35th spot.

“We hope Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin can lift the 2023 United State Open title which will be held from July 11-16, to improve their ranking,” he said. — Bernama