Lai Pei Jing (right), makes up the national No 1 mixed doubles pair alongside partner Tan Kian Meng. Pix by OWEE AH CHUN

KUALA LUMPUR: Shuttler Lai Pei Jing has admitted that it is not easy to cope with high expectations.

Pei Jing, who makes up the national No 1 mixed doubles pair alongside partner Tan Kian Meng, have not produced any significant result since breaking into the world top 10 this year.

When met at the Academy Badminton Malaysia here in Bukit Kiara recently, Pei Jing said: "I don't think it's a communication problem. Kian Meng and I are very close.

"It's just a matter of handling expectations. Personally, I've never reached the top with my previous partners, we were never Malaysian No 1.

"With this partnership it's different. And being Malaysian, it's never easy because expectations, as far as badminton is concerned, are very high."

Kian Meng-Pei Jing got off to a great start when they bagged the Malaysia Masters title in January. The pair, however, has yet to make an impact in the much higher Super Series and Premier tournaments.

At the Korea and Japan Opens last month, Kian Meng-Pei Jing was sent packing after the first two rounds.

The duo can still redeem themselves as they travel to Europe for the Denmark Open on Oct 17 to 22 and the French Open on Oct 24 to 29.

"It's not going to be easy, but Kian Meng and I have got to do something about it. We cannot remain stagnant like this.

"At the Denmark Open, we have a tough opener against the South Korean pair (Seo Seung Jae-Kim Ha Na), but our teammates Chan Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See have beaten them before so we will review that match to learn a thing or two.

"Hopefully we get to end the year on a good note," added Pei Jing.

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