It was a fabulous day for Malaysian shuttlers as Lee Zii Jia dumped third seed Anders Antenson of Denmark while doubles pair Man Wei Chong-Pearly Tan shocked Indonesia’s fifth seed Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti in round one of the Perodua Malaysia Masters presented by Daihatsu at Axiata Arena, here today.
The newly-signed 100PLUS ambassador Zii Jia conceded a 14-21 loss in the first set, before bouncing back to win 21-15 and 21-8 to make the second round.
“I made some mistakes in the first set but after the cheers and the encouragements from the Malaysian fans, I pushed myself harder in the second set and then on to win the third,” said Zii Jia who will be up against India’s Sameer Verma in tomorrow’s second round encounter.
Wei Chong-Pearly, who made into the main draw after yesterday’s qualifying round win over another Indonesian pair Alfian Eko Prasetya-Annisa Saufika, combined well to dash the hopes of the world number five pair 21-18, 21-13 in a hard-fought battle which lasted 27 minutes.
Wei Chong-Pearly were clearly highly-motivated as they took full advantage of their opponents’ errors to gain the upper hand.
“We never expected to win over Praveen-Melati as they are currently among the best in the world. We were nervous but the moment we stepped onto the court, we communicated well and supported each other throughout the match.
“We’ve seen them in action prior to this and managed to capitalise on their mistakes especially in netplay. This is a big achievement but then, we’ll have to focus hard for our next match,” said the pair who will be meeting another Indonesian pair Hafiz Faizal-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja in the next round.
Despite having to play in the women’s doubles as well, Pearly remained upbeat and energetic. Partnering Thinaah Muralitharan, the pair cruised into round 2 after defeating fellow Malaysian pair Anna Cheong-Lim Chiew Sien 21-15, 21-10 in 25 minutes.
Pearly-Thinaah will get a shot at the quarterfinals slot but will have to get past Indonesia’s 8th seed and top women’s pair, Greysia Polly-Apriani Rahayu in tomorrow’s second round.
Meanwhile, in men’s doubles, fans will be looking forward to the exciting clash between SEA Games gold medallist Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi and world number one Marcus Gideon Fernaldi-KevinSanjaya Sakamuljo in tomorrow’s round two. The Indonesian pair had an easy passage to the second round after beating Taiwan’s Lin Chia Yu-Yang Ming Tse 21-17, 21-8.
Independent pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yii are up against 8th seed Han Cheng Kai/Zhou Hao Dong in the second round tomorrow.
In the women’s doubles, Teoh Mei Xing-Yap Ling played convincingly in the first set but had to bow out at the hands of Japanese pair Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida 21-19, 21-14.
In the men’s singles competition, defending champion Son Wan Ho was easily downed out by Chinese ace Chen Long (4) 21-16, 21-14 while sixth seed Jonatan “Jojo” Christie was given a scare and had to dig deep before bundling out last year’s semifinalist Liew Daren of Malaysia 21-10, 16-21, 21-15 in a game which lasted 64 minutes.
Former champion and 5th seed Viktor Axelsen booked a clashed against Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto after brushing aside Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto 21-13, 21-8 in just 26 minutes.
In the women’s singles, third seed Nozomi Okuhara were dragged into a three-setter before winning over Hong Kong’s Yip Pui 21-16, 21-23, 21-13 in a marathon 69-minute battle.
On the other hand, Malaysia’s Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing failed to make the second round of the mixed doubles when they fell to straight set defeat to Indonesia’s Ricky Karandasuwardi-Pie Zebadiah Bernadet.
The Malaysians were quick at the start but they just could not maintain the momentum for a 17-21, 4-21 loss.
The Perodua Malaysia Masters presented by Daihatsu is a Super 500 event which runs from 7 to 12 January.
Tickets ranging from RM49 to RM 289 according to categories (upper, lower, premium) are now on sale. Tickets ranging from RM13 to RM74 are also on sale now for students aged 4 to 18 and those born between 2001 to 2017.
Season passes are also available for the tournament. For further information and enquiries, log on to http://www.myticket.asia/