Selangor Journal
Malaysian men’s badminton doubles, Soh Wooi Yik and Aaron Chia against Taiwan players, Po-Li Wei and Chang Ko-Chi in the ‘Perodua Malaysia Masters 2022’ badminton match at Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, on July 8, 2022. — Picture by BERNAMA

Malaysia Masters: Only two national reps left in the last four

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — Only national number one women’s doubles Pearly Tan-M Thinaah and top men’s pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik are left to carry the country’s hopes in the 2022 Malaysia Masters semi-finals here today.

Fresh from upsetting fourth-seeded duo from Japan, Yuki Fukushima-Siyaka Hirota, 21-14, 21-19 in the second round on Thursday, Pearly-Thinaah clearly stole the show in yesterday’s quarter-finals held in Axiata Arena.

The current world number 10 pair continued their red-hot form as they delivered an energetic performance to dump newly crowned 2022 Malaysia Open champions Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti of Indonesia.

Pearly-Thinaah survived a roller-coaster ride in the first game to win 21-18 and took the second 21-17 to book their place in the last four.

Top seeds Chen Qing Chen-Jia Yi Fan await Pearly-Thinaah next, after the Chinese pair beat their compatriots Du Yue-Li Wen Mei 21-15, 21-13.

Pearly, when met after the match, said they managed to stay calm, especially at crucial moments, and this proved decisive.

Asked on today’s action, Thinaah said they would not put pressure on themselves and would try to enjoy the game against the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games silver medallist.

World number six Aaron-Wooi Yik had a sluggish start against underdogs Chang Ko-Chi-Po Li-Wei of Taiwan, who led 16-13 before the Malaysians found their touch to win the opening game 23-21.

Aaron-Wooi Yik, fifth-seeded, then wrapped up the match with a 21-16 victory in the second to set up a clash against 2022 Malaysia Open runners-up Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia in the semi-finals.

Wooi Yik complimented the Taiwanese duo for showing impressive strength and finesse despite being ranked 609th in the world.

“We will try to treat tomorrow’s (today) match as a first-round tie so as not to pressure ourselves,” said Aaron.

Two other Malaysian pairs — professionals Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and national players Wan Arif Wan Junaidi-Muhammad Haikal Nazri — bowed out of the competition.

Soon Huat-Shevon were outplayed by second seeds Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong of China 10-21, 14-21 in just 27 minutes in the mixed doubles.

Shevon admitted they could not cope with the speed and power of the Chinese pair, apart from failing to handle the pressure on court.

Wan Arif-Muhammad Haikal were also no match for Fajar-Muhammad Rian, losing 10-21, 16-21.

Wan Arif said they clearly lacked the stamina to match the Indonesians.

National women’s doubles Anna Ching Yik Cheong-Teoh Mei Xing were earlier beaten by South Korea’s Jeong Na Eun-Kim Hye Jeong 14-21, 18-21 in the last eight.

— Bernama

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