KUALA LUMPUR: The first match against Indonesia on Monday will make or break the national women's team at the Uber Cup in Bangkok, Thailand, according to team captain Vivian Hoo.
With a target of reaching the quarter-finals, the Malaysian team will be in for an uphill battle, having been drawn in the same group (Group D) as defending champions China, fierce rivals Indonesia and France.
Only the top two teams from each group will qualify for the last eight (quarter-finals).
"We've been handed a very tough draw, as we are in the same group as China, Indonesia and France.
"However, we have come close in the last two editions (2014 and 2016), so I hope we will be able to achieve our target this time round.
"The match against Indonesia will be the most crucial tie, and we are playing them first. On paper, they are ranked higher than us, but if all of us play well, I'm sure we can do it and get the better of them.
"The first tie of the competition will decide who can make it to the quarter-finals," said Vivian today (Tuesday), after the last day of centralised training at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara.
Both the men's and women's teams were also presented with new suits ahead of their challenge in Bangkok, which was sponsored by Bespoked’s Ian Chang.
Speaking on the outfits, Vivian added: "Apart from looking sharp, I think with these suits, we will definitely feel more confident."
The national contingent will leave for Bangkok on Thursday.