KUALA LUMPUR: Falling at the first hurdle continues to haunt national men's No 1, Datuk Lee Chong Wei when he suffered a shock straight sets loss to 23-year-old Kenta Nishimoto in the first round of the French Open.
Chong Wei who is also a former World No 1, lost 14-21, 15-21 to the World No 40 player at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, in Paris.
This is the fourth time this year where Chong Wei has been bundled out early in competition after losing to HS Prannoy of India in the second round of the Indonesian and Denmark Opens, and to Frenchman Brice Leverdez in the first round of the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.
According to national men's singles coach Hendrawan, Chong Wei’s game was just not up to mark and he seemed unsure in making decisions on court.
“The young Japanese player managed to take control of the entire game because of Chong Wei’s weaknesses.
"After such disappointments at the Denmark and French Opens, he will rest for a period of time because now he seems to lose focus more often than not and makes unforced errors,” said Hendrawan when contacted.
Hendarawan stressed that for the former world’s best player, the situation now is somewhat tense and uncertain because his confidence has taken a beating.
“When we return home, we will definitely hold discussions to try and find the best possible solutions,” said the Indonesian born coach.
Meanwhile, it was a different story altogether for national men's pair, Goh V Shem-Teo Ee Yi who did not encounter any problems in defeating their opponents from Hong Kong, Or Chin Chung-Tang Chun Man, even though this is their first outing since they were paired up less than a month ago.
V Shem-Ee Yi managed to record a 21-10, 21-15 straight sets win and will next face fifth seeds from China, Liu Cheng-Zhang Nan, in the second round.
“We played really well consistently. I hope we can continue with our good form in the second round against the formidable Chinese pair. In terms of weaknesses I feel we need to work on our game combination and understanding better,” said V Shem.
Also through to the next round is mixed doubles pair, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing who dispatched Thailand’s Nipitphon Phuangphuapet-Jongkolphan Kithitharakul 22-20, 21-13. They will next face French pair, Ronan Labar-Audrey Fontaine in the second round.
However, Malaysia’s other mixed doubles pair, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai were less fortunate after falling to seventh seeded South Koreans, Seo Seung Jae-Kim Ha Na 16-21, 14-21.
National women's pair, Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei also tasted defeat when they went down to Japan’s Shiho Tanaka-Koharu Yonemoto, 22-24, 19-21.