Chow Mei Kuan is seeded second alongside partner Lee Meng Yean at the upcoming Swiss Open (March 2-7), but the women’s doubles shuttler is expecting a stern test to come from national team-mates Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah.
The world number 10 pair overcame Tan-Thinaah in straight games at the Thai Open 2 quarter-finals, but Chow expects a stiff challenge should both pairs meet at the Swiss Open.
“Of all the pairs in the draw, I am excited to see how we fare against them, as we have been training together since returning from Bangkok. It will be interesting to see our progression should we get a chance to play each other,” Chow told Stadium Astro.
Chow-Lee have a favourable draw on paper, with only Thai duo Jongkolphon Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajonglai seeded higher.
The Malaysians face English pair Jessica Hopton-Jenny Moore in the first round, and more European opponents should they progress until the last four, where a potential clash against their team-mates awaits.
Chow-Lee moved into the top 10 after two semi-finals to show at Thai 2 and the 2020 BWF World Tour Finals.
They lost to two South Korean opponents in both events, and Chow eloquently described their downfall.
“There is a reason how both pairs took points from us. The key difference was their patience to indulge in long rallies, and wait for the right time to strike. They can vary the play by feeding us at the net, and also with high balls. They only attack when they see an opportunity.
“We were more eager to attack. It was a good lesson and we learn and move on.”
Without any South Koreans, Japanese and Chinese pairs on show, the road to the final looks bright for the pair, but Chow is taking nothing for granted.
“We may be stronger than the Europeans on paper, but they are used to the weather and environment. We must not take anything for granted and go there with a game plan. Good things do not come easy, and we will prepare in advance.”
Besides Chow-Lee and Tan-Thinaah, Yap Ling-Teoh Mei Xing are the other pair competing, facing Jongkolphon-Rawinda in the first round.
Tan-Thinaah face Austrian duo Serene Au Yong-Katharina Hochmeir.
Chow-Lee will return home after the Swiss Open, as they will not compete at the All-England Open to focus on securing qualification to the Olympics.
The Swiss Open is the first event on the World Tour to offer qualification points to the Tokyo Olympics.