Malaysian mixed doubles pairs eclipsed in Thailand Open

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It was a washout for the three Malaysian mixed doubles pairs in the USD350,000 Toyota Thailand Open at the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok on Wednesday as they failed to get past their first-round opponents.

However, there was some joy in the singles with Lee Zii Jia pulling off an upset 21-23, 21-11, 21-5 win over India’s No 8 seed Sameer Verma to earn a second-round clash against Indonesian veteran Tommy Sugiarto in the men’s singles. Sugiarto defeated China’s Zhao Jun Peng 21-13, 12-21, 21-13.

Professional Liew Darren, however, crashed out in the first round – going out in straight games 13-21, 16-21 to Hong Kong China’s Angus Ng Ka Long.

In the women’s singles, Soniia Cheah beat Thai qualifier Supanida Katethong 11-21, 21-14, 21-19. The Malaysian will next face China’s sixth-ranked He Bing Jiao, who is seeded fifth in Bangkok.

Much was expected from World No 5 Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Malaysia’s best bet to qualify for next year’s Olympics in the mixed doubles. The Malaysian professionals, however, fell to a three-game 21-18, 18-21, 21-17 defeat to India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa in 62-minutes in their first-round encounter.

The Rio Olympics silver medal winners reached the semi-finals in the Indonesia Open and Japan Open in the last two tournaments where they lost to China’s World No 2 Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping both times and were expected to go far in Bangkok.

World No 12 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie also crashed out in the first round where they lost 19-21, 21-19, 21-16 to sixth seeds Hafiz Faizal-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia in 58 minutes.

Seventh seeds Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti of Indonesia handed World No 14 Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing a 25-23, 21-8 defeat in 34 minutes. RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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