PETALING JAYA: Indonesia coach Indra Wijaya will have his work cut out for transforming the women’s singles department into a force to be reckoned with.
It comes after another of his charges fell flat, this time world No.127 Lee Ying Ying (pictured) at the Masters of Orleans in France.
Former silver medalist Ying Ying, former world junior champion, was outscored 6-21.9-21 by American Iris Wang in her first-round match which lasted just 31 minutes on Wednesday.
Although 23-year-old Ying Ying was playing against a No.36-ranked opponent and only in her first international tournament since November 2019, the way she lost the match obediently enough leaves many wondering if she is ready to compete.
“Ying Ying has been outperformed by her opponent and it is obvious that there are a lot of areas where she needs to improve,” said Indra MP Loh Wei Sheng, who is in Orleans with the team. this week.
“We will analyze them, identify them and help him overcome any shortcomings when we return home.
Ying Ying’s loss came barely a week after teammate S. Kisona was whipped 6-21.7-21 by Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the All-England opener.
This led to Kisona being sent home despite the SEA Games champion being initially entered for this week’s tournament.
Indra will have a lot of explaining to do unless her other two charges, Goh Jin Wei and Eoon Qi Xuan, are able to put on a good show.
Jin Wei is expected to advance to the quarter-finals against Thai seed Pornpawee Chochuwong while Qi Xuan competes in the Polish International Challenge which started yesterday.
Indra’s women’s department were among three alongside the men’s singles who have been ordered to strengthen in Europe ahead of their next performance review.
Indra, who joined the Malaysian Badminton Association in 2016 as an assistant coach in men’s singles, has been promoted to head of the women’s singles squad, replacing Datuk Tey Seu Bock following a reshuffle of the coaching staff last May.
While world 33rd Soniia Cheah was excluded from the squad last month, he has just five players under his charge, including 17-year-old K. Letshanaa.
As for Ying Ying, her days might be numbered unless she starts proving her worth soon.
Since finishing second to Jin Wei at the 2015 WJC in Lima, Peru, she has struggled with a heel injury and lacks results on the international stage.
Ying Ying has made several finals in the International Challenge and the lower tier series, but in the higher tier tournaments her best was probably at the 2017 Malaysia Masters where she made the quarterfinals.
His first and only senior title was the Romanian International Challenge in 2016.