Badminton News: It’s been six months since Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin Rumsani played their last competitive match, but the pair made an emotional return to the US Open in Country Bluffs, Iowa on Tuesday.
Their expected 21-16, 21-13 first-round victory over Mexico’s Job Castillo-Juan Montoya was not entirely one-sided.
But it was still a well-deserved winning start for the pair as they got a second chance to relaunch their careers, which were nearly crushed in January.
A lack of confidence, as Izzuddin admits, left national doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky no choice but to part ways after being knocked out in the first round of the Indian Open.
Izzuddin then chose Haikal Nazri as his new partner while a distraught Sze Fei was paired with Goh Boon Sze but the lack of results forced the duo to put their differences aside and come together.
However, it comes with direction as Rexy wants the pair to step up their game and fight for a spot at the Paris Olympics in 2024. The Indonesian coach also expects them to win the US Open to show that they are back on track.
Sze Fei/Izzuddin, once ranked 9th in the world, have slipped to 53rd and their strong start should put them on the right track.
National doubles coach Tan Bin Shen added that Sze Fei-Izzuddin had tested positive in training ahead of the US Open and was looking forward to seeing them perform with confidence and conviction.
“I think it’s a good start. I wasn’t with them in the United States but according to (Poh Chai) Boon, they played well,” Bin Shen said.
“Their preparations before leaving for the USA tournament have been excellent and I can see that they are really looking forward to making their partnership work this time around.
“Hopefully they can play like they did in training. They just needed to prepare for the game ahead.
“Stop overthinking and do your best when they’re on the pitch.”
Sze Fei/Izzuddin will face the American pair Chen Zhi Yi-Presley Smith in the second round tomorrow.
Top seeds Su Ching-heng-Ye Hong-wei of Taiwan and fifth seeds Chen Boyang/Liu Yi of China can prevent Sze Fei/Izzuddin from succeeding.
Tags: Goh Sze Fei, Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, US Open 2023
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