Doubles cheer in Fuzhou China Open

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Lee Zii Jia reportedly fell ill while Soniia Cheah was no match as Malaysia’s campaign in the men’s and women’s singles came to an abrupt end in the USD700,000 Fuzhou China Open at the Haixia Olympic Sports Center in Fuzhou on Thursday.

However, men’s doubles Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and women’s doubles Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean together with mixed doubles Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie marched into the quarter-finals. Joining them in the last eight is the professional mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.

According to reports filtering out of Fuzhou, Zii Jia, who defeated Malaysian-born Singapore Loh Kean Yew in the first round, fell ill on Thursday morning and was not in the best of shape in his second-round match against World No 1 and top seed Kento Momota of Japan.

The Japanese won the first game easily at 21-9 and was leading 11-3 in the second when the Malaysian called quits after 21 minutes of play.

In the women’s singles, Soniia was no match against Canada’s Hong Kong-born Michelle Li who walked away with a 21-14, 21-10 win in 36 minutes to maintain her supremacy over the Malaysian. With the win, Michelle has won all her five encounters against Soniia.

The men’s doubles quarter-final between Aaron-Wooi Yik against Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan will be a repeat of this year’s All-England finals which the Indonesians won.

In their second-round match, Aaron-Wooi Yik upstaged another Indonesian pair – fifth seeds Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto in three-game, prevailing 13-21, 21-18, 21-16 while Ahsan-Setiawan edged China’s Ou Xuan Yi-Zhang Nan in a three-game thriller 11-21, 21-18, 30-29 in 64 minutes.

However, it was heartbreak for another men’s doubles pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin as they went down 20-22, 18-21 to Japan’s fourth seeds Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda after a 47-minute battle.

Mei Kuan-Meng Yean faces a tough quarter-final match in the women’s doubles against number two seeds Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota off Japan. In the second round, the Malaysian ousted Ekaterina Bolotova-Alina Davletova of Russia 21-17, 21-12 while Japanese beat Hsu Ya Ching-Hu Ling Fang of Chinese Taipei 21-12, 21-10.

Soon Huat-Shevon defeated Indonesia’s Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas Mentari 23-21, 21-13 to set-up a quarter-final match against Thai third seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai who blew away another Malaysian hope Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing 21-12, 21-17.

Sixth seeds and reigning Rio Olympics silver medallists Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying made their sixth quarter-finals this year. The Malaysian professionals got the better of Dutch pair Robin Tabeling-Selena Piek 21-18, 21-13.

For a place in the semis, Peng Soon-Liu Ying faces a Chinese hurdle in number two seeds Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping – 21-11, 21-12 winners over compatriots He Jiting-Du Yue.RIZAL ABDULLAH

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