Malaysia’s young pair Arif Junaidi-Yap Roy King continued their fine run in the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2024, producing a shocking upset on Denmark’s Rasmus Kjaer-Frederik Sogaard to storm into the men’s doubles semifinals at Axiata Arena tomorrow.

The young pair upstaged the experienced Danish pair 21-18, 14-21, 21-18 in 69 minutes to check into the semifinals against another Danish pair, Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen tomorrow. 

However, hopes to see Malaysia’s three other top pairs in action in tomorrow’s semifinals were dashed with top seed Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik suffering a shocking 21-11, 19-21, 19-21 defeat at the hands of unheralded Korean pair Jin Yong/Na Sung Seung in today’s quarterfinals. 

Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzudin also stumbled in their bid for a slot in the semifinals after losing out to Denmark’s second seed Kim Astrup/Anders Skaqrup Rasmussen in straight game of 21-19, 21-17 wrapped up in 46 minutes. 

Seventh seed Man Wei Chong/Tee Kai Wun wasted a great opportunity to repeat their final appearance in the tournament after suffering a 21-18, 21-16 defeat to China’s third seed He Jing Ting/Ren Xiang Yu.

Fifth seed Lee Zii Jia lived up to expectations with a three-game 21-15, 19-21, 21-11 win over arch-rival and second seed Anders Antonsen. It was an absorbing and energy-sapping 83-minute battle which later took a toll on Malaysian No.1 who suffered severe cramps and fatigue after the match. 

Zii Jia’s participation in tomorrow’s semifinals remains in doubt after it was confirmed that he needs to undergo immediate cold bath recovery treatment at the National Sports Institute (NSI) facilities.  

“Zii Jia had cramps and is suffering from fatigue and we need to focus on his immediate recovery at the NSI..we will only know later tonight if he’s able to play tomorrow,” said Zii Jia’s manager Lee Zii Yii.  

Zii Jia is up against Hong Kong China’s Angus Ng Kar Long, whom he beat in last week’s Thailand Open final, in tomorrow’s semifinal. Kar Long had earlier booked his semifinal slot after beating China’s Li Shi Feng. 

Arif/Yap, who were paired in March last year, continue to prove their worth with strong performances this year. “It was a tough match against the strong Danish pair today. We’re all fired up, especially with the home fans rallying behind us, and will continue to improve and remain focussed for tomorrow,” said Arif. 

In the women’s doubles, Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan remained on course in their title bid as they safely cruised into the semifinals against Korea’s Lee Yu Lim/Shin Seung Sun after defeating Australian pair Setyana Mapasa/Angela Lu 21-16, 21-8.  

“We hope to remain consistent and will not think too much on the finals of winning the title. As for now, we’ll set our focus on tomorrow against the Koreans,” said Thinaah.

Early in the day, Chen Tang Jie/Toh Ee Wei and independent pair Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Lai ensured gave the home fans reasons to cheer with an all-Malaysian mixed doubles semifinals tomorrow. 

Earlier in the day, top seed Cheng Tang Jie/Toh Ee Wei and husband-wife pair Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Lai will clash in tomorrow’s all-Malaysian mixed doubles semifinals. 

Tang Jie/Ee Wei made the cut into the last four after overpowering compatriot Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing 21-19, 21-14 while Goh/Shevon defeated Indonesia pair Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto/Lisa Ayu Kusumawati 12-21, 21-17, 21-17 in 70 minutes. 

“So far, we’re quite satisfied with our performance but need to improve in certain areas, especially our mental strength in facing challenging situations,” said Tang Jie. 

Meanwhile, Viktor Axelsen remains on track in his title bid after demolishing Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen with a straight 21-15, 21-11 win. The Dane takes on China’s Lu Guang Zu in tomorrow’s semi-finals. 

India’s Pusarla V Sindhu meanwhile was at her best after brushing aside top seed Han Yue of China 21-13, 14-21, 21-12 in a pulsating women’s singles clash to qualify for her first semifinals of the year. 

SEMIFINALS (Saturday, May 25) 

Men’s Singles:

[1] Viktor Axelsen (DEN) vs Lu Guang Zu (CHN) 

Angus Ng Kar Long (TPE) vs [5] Lee Zii Jia (MAS) 

Women’s Singles:

[5] Pusarla V Sindhu (IND) vs Busanan Ongbamrungphan (THA)

[6] Zhang Yi Man (CHN) vs [2] Wang Zhi Yi (CHN)

Men’s Doubles:

[3] He Ji Ting/Ren Xiang Yu (CHN) vs Jin Yong/Na Sung Seung (KOR) 

[2] Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (DEN) vs Arif Junaidi/Yap Roy King (MAS)

Women’s Doubles:

[1] Rin Iwanaga/Kie Nakanishi (JPN) vs [4] Gabriela Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva (BUL) 

[2] Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan (MAS) vs [6] Lee Yu Lim/Shin Seung Chan (KOR) vs 

Mixed Doubles:

[1] Chen Tang Jie/Toh Ee Wei (MAS) vs [4] Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Lai (MAS) 

[3] Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari (INA) vs [2] Mathias Christiansen/Alexandrea Boje (DEN)

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