Peng Soon and Liu Ying part ways after withdrawal from worlds

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian mixed doubles ace Chan Peng Soon has vowed to play on for the next three years after announcing his split with Goh Liu Ying yesterday.

It will be interesting to see what’s the future holds for the 33-year-old, especially as to his potential partner, after admitting he’s seeking a ‘fresh challenge’.

Peng Soon said he already has a plan in place and will make an announcement in due course.

“It was not a sudden decision,” said Peng Soon, who arrived home from Bali.

“Liu Ying and I have had discussions about it after the Tokyo Olympics and agreed that it was time for us to go separate ways.

“We made this decision with a heavy heart, but we both have different goals to pursue.

“Well, in the end, it was still quite a sweet ending for us as we bade farewell with a semi-final outing at the World Tour Finals in Bali last week.

“I want to thank Liu Ying for this wonderful journey. Despite being down with several major injuries, she has persevered and always returned strong.

“I don’t think we part ways with any regrets because we have done the best we could.

“It’s been 13 long years. I don’t think there’s any pair lasted this long. Apart from the Adcocks (England’s retired duo Chris and Gabrielle), I really can’t think of anyone else.

“I already have plans for next year but it’s not the time to reveal it yet. One thing for sure, I believe I still have a few good years left in me and eager to see what I can achieve with a new partner.

“For now, all I want to do is take a good rest and spend time with my family. I have been away from home for some time.”

Liu Ying, meanwhile, said she was still undecided about her future.

Liu Ying had previously said that she would contemplate on whether to continue playing at the end of this year.

When pressed on the matter again, Liu Ying gave a non-commital reply by saying: “I don’t know yet. For now I just want to take a break.”

Peng Soon’s announcement came hours after Liu Ying first took to social media to announce the pair’s withdrawal from the World Championships.

Liu Ying revealed that the hectic schedule had taken its toll on them and they would not be able to recover in time for the world meet.

The world No. 9 pair had competed in the Denmark Open, French Open, Hylo Open, Indonesian Masters, Indonesian Open and made the cut for the season-ending Finals last week.

“We’re so tired… like half-dead!” she said,.

“Peng Soon’s hand is aching too. If we carry on playing, our injuries could get worse or lead to a new injury.

“In recent tournaments, we saw so many players retire halfway through their matches due to injury. The last thing we want is to travel all the way to Spain, get injured and concede a walkover.”

Peng Soon-Liu Ying have made seven appearances to date.

Their best achievement was reaching the quarter-finals in 2018 and at the last edition in Basel two years ago.