Tan Kian Meng dan Lai Pei Jing (right) are looking forward to challenges in the future. File pic by OWEE AH CHUN.

KUALA LUMPUR: The experience of their opponents is thought to be the reason behind Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing’s exit in the quarterfinals of the French Open yesterday, which also meant the end of the Malaysian shuttlers’ challenge in the Super Series tournament.

Pei Jing-Kian Meng who were the eighth seeds fell 21-19, 14-21, 12-21 to Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir in a match that lasted slightly more than an hour at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris.

According to Pei Jing, it was always going to be an uphill task playing the Rio Olympics gold medallists and tournament fourth seeds, even though they beat the Indonesians at the Australian Open in June.

“They are a vastly experienced pair, and in the deciding set after the eleventh point, they played at a very fast pace and notched up point after point. We didn’t have a chance,” she said when contacted yesterday.

However, Pei Jing was nonetheless pleased with their exploits at the French Open after going out early in three previous Super Series tournaments (South Korean, Japan and Denmark Opens).

“We had set a target of bouncing back at the Denmark and French Opens, especially in terms of getting a good playing rhythm going and satisfaction. At the same time, we were also trying to regain our confidence at the two aforementioned tournaments.

“I can feel that after we ended our challenge here in Europe, little by little, we are regaining our confidence and focus when playing competitively on court,” said the 25-year-old.

Pei Jing stressed that even though they went out in the quarter-finals to Tontowi-Lilyana, she feels satisfied and is raring to get back on court after this at the China and Hong Kong Opens.

The first time Kian Meng-Pei Jing were defeated by the World No 3 pair was at the quarter-finals of the Indonesian Open in June.

Based on the revised rankings by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Thursday, Kian Meng-Pei Jing have dropped down a spot to 11th, though they are expected to break into the top ten after their showing at the French Open.

Translated from Harian Metro

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