Forget about the biggest nemesis, world No. 1 Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo-Marcus Fernaldi Gideon.
Last year’s All-England runners-up Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik see their teammates Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani as their “toughest” challenge in the men’s doubles draw for All-England which was released on Tuesday.
The draw saw the world No. 8 pair of Aaron-Wooi Yik in the same quarter as the Indonesians who they have not beaten in all previous six meetings.
But Aaron was not looking at that. He is more worried abut their opening hurdle against their teammates in the tournament at Arena Birmingham from March 11-15.
Aaron lamented that it is always unpleasant to be pitted against compatriots, particularly in the early round.
“Playing against our own teammates is always the toughest, regardless of which tournament,” said Aaron.
“But that is how it is. The draw is out and there’s nothing we can do about it.
“What Wooi Yik and I need to do now is to get ourselves ready. It’s going to be tricky taking on Sze Fei-Izzuddin, with whom we train every day. We know each other’s style of play too well, so it can go either way.
“That’s why we don’t want to look beyond the first round yet, although Kevin-Marcus could probably be our opponents in the quarter-finals.”
Having lost three of their encounters over the last few week to Kevin-Marcus, Aaron admitted he and Wooi Yik still could not find the winning formula against the Indonesians.
“We have to play beyond our best, if we are to stand a chance to beat them,” said Aaron.
With three weeks to go before the All-England, Aaron-Wooi Yik will be looking to boost their confidence at the Spain Masters in Barcelona this week.
The second seeded Malaysians barely broke a sweat in their opener against homesters Oriol Altimira-Jofre Comella, winning 21-8, 21-4 in just 16 minutes on Tuesday.
They next face Bjarne Geiss-Jan Colin Volker of Germany.
The path looks clear for them until the semi-finals where they will clash with the rejuvenated South Korea veterans Kim Gi-jung-Lee Yong-dae, who won the Malaysian Masters last month.
Sze Fei-Izzuddin are also in action this week. They, too, cleared their first hurdle in style by ousting Denmark’s Mads Pieler Kolding-Carsten Mogensen 21-14, 21-19.
In the mixed doubles competition yesterday, top seeds Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie made short work of the Israel-Belarus combination of Mishal Zilberman-Katsiaryna Zablotskaya 21-12, 21-11.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
(Matches involving Malaysians only)
Men’s singles: Liew Daren …. H. S. Prannoy (Ind) …… playing later….
Men’s doubles: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik bt Oriol Altimira-Jofre Comella (Spa) 21-8, 21-4; Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani bt Mads Pieler Kolding-Carsten Mogensen (Den) 21-14, 21-19.