Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik stayed on course in their PETRONAS Malaysian Open 2024 title hunt, storming into the quarterfinals tomorrow after beating compatriot Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani in today’s second-round clash at Axiata Arena.
Both national pairs were involved in a thrilling duel which eventually saw the world No. 4 prevailing 21-15, 21-16, their fifth win over Fei-Din in their last seven meetings.
It will be an exciting clash of two former world champions, as Aaron-Soh are up against Korean pair Kang Min Hyuk-Seo Seung Jae in tomorrow’s quarterfinal encounter. The 2023 world champion had earlier beaten Taiwan’s Lee Jhe-Huei-Yang Po Hsuan in straight sets of 21-13, 21-14.
“It’s going to be tough but at the same time an interesting tie, we’ve played against them before and tomorrow, we will give our very best …but we need to adapt fast in the court and strategise well,” said Soh.
Sze Fei meanwhile said: “We learnt a lot from this tournament, but there are a few weaknesses which we need to work on but overall, we’re happy with our performances.”
Malaysia’s other contender, world No.9 Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei however, failed to live up to expectations after losing to their lower-ranked rival, Hidoki Midorikawa-Natsu Saito of Japan. It was the pair’s third meeting against the Japanese pair who now hold the advantage of winning two encounters.
It was a tight duel in the first game but a series of unforced errors and a lapse in concentration led to the national pair’s downfall, succumbing 24-22, 21-14 in 42 minutes.
“We’re deeply disappointed but, there's no shortcut to success, we need to move on and prepare hard for our next tournament,” said a dejected Tang Jie.
Independent shuttlers Ong Yew Sii/Teo Ee Yi, also brought cheers to the home fans after confirming their spots with a hard-fought win over Denmark’s Kim Astrup-Anders Rasmussen. After a convincing 21-10 win in the first game, the Malaysian pair stumbled in the second game, losing 11-21, forcing a decider which eventually saw Ong/Teo wrapping up the game 24-22, in 61 minutes. Ong-Teo are up against arch rivals Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi who had earlier defeated Scottish pair, Alexander Dunn/Adam Hall 21-11, 21-13 in just 30 minutes.
Local mixed pair Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai failed to get past sixth seed Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand and conceded a 21-15, 21-12 defeat in 39 minutes while Chan Peng Soon/Cheah Yee See suffered the same fate after losing to China’s fifth seed, Jiang Zheng Bang-Wei Ya Xin 21-14, 21-14 in 33 minutes.
Goh Jin Wei’s hopes for an upset did not materialise despite putting up a strong fight. She lost 21-15, 24-22 to the world No. 7 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in 39 minutes.
Meanwhile, two-time defending champion Viktor Axelsen was stretched into a rubber game by Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu before winning 21-17, 20-22, 21-17 in 74 minutes. The Dane meets Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long in the quarterfinals.
However, it was China’s Lu Guang Zu (world No.19) who created the first upset of the day after dumping world No.4, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, the former’s first win over the Indonesian after six meetings. Lu was forced to dig deep before emerging victorious with a 23-21, 25-23 win in 67 minutes. Lu faces countrymate Shu Yu Qi in the last eight.
Later, it was Li Chun Yi’s (world No. 21) turn to create impact after defeating former world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21-18, 21-16.
The tournament’s two other favourites, Denmark’s Anders Antonsen and Japan’s Kodai Naraoka, were also through and will face each other tomorrow.
In the women’s singles, top seed An Se Young had no trouble checking into the quarterfinals against Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min, after winning over German Yvonne Li, while defending champion Akane Yamaguchi stayed on course in the title hunt after defeating Kirsty Gilmour. The Japanese now meets World No. 17, Zhang Yi Man.
Tai Tzu Ying, gunning for for her fifth crown in the Open, is set to meet China’s world No. 6 He Bing Jiao while second seed Chen Yu Fei, who dumped former two-time Malaysia Open champion Ratchanok Intanon, will square off against Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung.