Perfect wedding gift for Goh-Shevon 

IT took Viktor Axelsen 63 minutes to end his title drought this year after clinching the PERODUA Malaysia Master 2024 title for the second time by defeating Lee Zia Jia at Axiata Arena today. 

The world No.1 Axelsen, who first won the Masters in 2018, lived up to his top reputation with a three-game 21-6, 20-22, 21-13 win over local favourite Zii Jia to emerge as the first European men’s singles shuttler to win the title twice since 2009. 

Despite the disappointment, Malaysian fans at Axiata Arena still have reasons to celebrate with newly-wed pair independent Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Lai producing one of their best displays to win the mixed doubles finals, defeating Indonesian rivals Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari 21-18, 21-19 in 48 minutes.

Despite failing in his bid for a second consecutive win after last week’s Thailand Open victory, Zii Jia is taking the outcome of today’s final positively, saying that it would greatly help him in building his confidence as he prepares himself for the huge task Paris Olympics in July. 

The Dane was in a fiery mood in the opening game, playing aggressively and racing to an 11-3 lead at the interval of the first game, before easily wrapping up 21-6 in just 13 minutes. 

Zii Jia came back strongly in the second game, taking an 11-4 lead at the interval to force a rubber with a 22-20 win. Axelsen then charged strongly at the start of the rubber game with an 11-8 lead at the interval, leaving Zii Jia with no chance to make a comeback before settling the tie 21-13 in 63 minutes.  

“I’ve tried my best and I have to accept that Viktor is far superior today..the good thing is that I will build on this momentum leading up to the Paris Olympics in July,” said Zii Jia. 

For Goh and Shevon, their second title this year was made even sweeter as it was achieved in front of their families, friends and the supportive home crowd. “It’s been our dream to win a title on home soil, and today, we did it…but frankly, we were surprised that we had come this far and finally won the title. The draw has been tough and full of hurdles, but we’re thankful to all fans who have been supporting and believing in us today,” said Shevon. 

Goh-Shevon’s victory ended Malaysia’s six-year title drought in the mixed doubles, as well as the pair’s second World Tour title this year after the Swiss Open. The last Malaysians to win the Malaysia Masters title was the mixed doubles pair, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing in 2017.

Meanwhile, history was created in the men’s doubles when experienced pair Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen became the first European pair to win the Malaysia Masters. 

The Danish world No.5 pair performed commandingly to dismiss the Korean pair of Jin Yong/Na Sa Seung 21-18, 21-14 to land the title. 

Earlier, China’s Wang Zhiyi made a great comeback in the rubber game against India’s Pusarla V. Sindhu to win the women’s singles crown, her third World Tour title this year. 

The Chinese world No.8 was 16-21 down in the first game but forced a rubber game after winning 21-5 in the second. Sindhu was heading for victory in the rubber game after a healthy 11-3 lead at the interval, only for Wang to get back into the game, tying the Indian star 13-13 before racing to a 21-16 win in 79 minutes to deny Sindhu of her first title in two years. 

It was Wang’s third win after winning the Badminton Asia Championships and the Indonesia Masters in March. It was also China’s second title in four years after Chen Yufei had won the crown in 2020. 

In the women’s doubles, Japan’s top seed Rin Iwanaga/Kie Nakanishi won their first Malaysia Masters title after defeating Korea’s Lee Yu Lim/Shin Seung Chan in a pulsating final which ended in the Japanese winning 17-21, 21-19, 21-18.

RESULTS (Finals) 

Men’s Singles:

[1] Viktor Axelsen (DEN) bt [5] Lee Zii Jia (MAS) 21-6, 20-22, 21-13

Women’s Singles:

[2] Wang Zhi Yi (CHN) bt [5] Pusarla V Sindhu (IND) 16-21, 21-5, 21-16

Men’s Doubles:

[2] Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (DEN) vs Jin Yong/Na Sung Seung (KOR) 21-18, 21-14

Women’s Doubles:

[1] Rin Iwanaga/Kie Nakanishi (JPN) bt [6] Lee Yu Lim/Shin Seung Chan (KOR) 17-21, 21-19, 21-18

Mixed Doubles: 

[4] Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Lai (MAS) bt [3] Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari (INA) 21-18, 21-19

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