Thailand Open: Recharged Homesters Upset Goh/Lai

Upon their return from a disappointing European leg, where they fell in the opening round of all four of their tournaments, Thai mixed pair Ruttanapak Oupthong/Jhenicha Sudjaipraparat set out to put the whole competition-less month ahead of them to good use.

The return was instant; they won their TOYOTA Thailand Open 2024 first round match – only the second time they’ve cleared this stage this season – surprising third seeds Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai.

“We had a good one month to prepare so we took full advantage,” said Oupthong after the 19-21 21-17 21-13 win. “The European experience taught us a lot, we took some things away and applied to our game in training over the last few weeks.

“In Europe we were too focused on results. We went onto court desperate to win. Here it’s one point at a time and we find ourselves more relaxed as a result.”

At 16-13 in the second game, Goh and Lai looked good for a win before Oupthong/Sudjaipraparat reeled off three straight points. They only allowed their opponents another point before forcing a decider they quickly sealed.

“Having the fans behind us was a great help. Every cheer fired us up,” said Sudjaipraparat.

Oupthong/Sudjaipraparat’s attacks unsettled Goh and Lai.

Oupthong said analysing their only encounter, which the Malaysians won at the Indonesia Masters in January, worked to their benefit.

“We rewatched the match and worked on our weaknesses. We also targeted theirs and focused on our strengths,” said the 24-year-old.

Sudjaipraparat, one year older, added: “We made them move all around the court. They found it hard to return.”

While ending a run of early exits comes as a relief, the world No.35s are careful not to return to their old ways of chasing results again.

“We just want to enjoy ourselves,” said Oupthong. “We want to show the Thai fans what we are capable of and give them something to celebrate. That may not necessarily be winning, a fighting performance is okay too.”

Oupthong/Sudjaipraparat face Indonesians Adnan Maulana/Nita Violina Marwah, whom they have beaten twice in three meetings, in the second round.

Results (Day 1)

Order of play (Day 2)

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