Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing fought valiantly but it wasn’t to be as their fairy tale run at the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open 2019 ended at the hands of Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping from China at the Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil today.
The world number 37 had performed beyond expectations, winning three games on the trot to reach the semi-finals but found the world number two pair and last year’s finalists too hot to handle, losing 13-21, 17-21 in the last four.
Still it was a fantastic achievement for the national number four mixed doubles pair, who were not given a ghost of a chance prior to the tournament, having failed to notch a single victory prior to this in 2019.
In the first round they pulled off a stunning upset against world number three, Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino from Japan.followed by a win against India’s, Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Reddy N. Sikki and overcoming Tontowi Ahmad-Winny Oktavina Kandow from Indonesia in the quarter finals yesterday.
Kian Meng-Pei Jing chose to look at the positives and take this experience as good lesson for their upcoming tournaments.
Pei Jing said, “After our loss today, it was a good experience as we could measure ourselves against them. We now know where we stand and what we need to do to climb up the rankings.
“I hope that we can maintain our momentum for the upcoming tournaments. Players have their ups and downs but we will try to bring this spirit with us for our upcoming matches,” she said.
Kian Meng added, “There was no pressure on us for this match, we played as well as we could as we were the last national representative in the tournament. We want to say thank you to all the fans who came to support us today,” said Kian Meng to the media.
Malaysians in action today (Semi finals)
XD Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (China) def. Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing 21-13 21-17
Malaysia Open 2019 final matches tomorrow:
MS Chen Long (China) vs Lin Dan (China)
WS Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei) vs Akane Yamaguchi (Japan)
MD Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (China) vs Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Japan)
WD Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (China) vs Du Yue-Li Yinhui (China)
XD Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (China) vs Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (China)