Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik’s title hunt ended tonight after failing to get past their PETRONAS Malaysia Open quarterfinal hurdles at Axiata Arena here.
Roared on by the vociferous home fans, the Malaysian top pair put up a spirited display against reigning world champion Kang Min Hyuk-Seo Seung Jae in the first game but eventually lost out in the last two games.
Aaron-Soh started on a strong note, winning the first game with a convincing 21-16, but a lapse of concentration cost them the second game, losing 18-21.
It was a point-for-point battle in the rubber, but the Malaysian pair fizzled out in the later stage of the game and eventually lost 21-13.
“We were too excited to finish off the game, which led us to making mistakes and errors. We’ve tried our best but it was not enough.
There are still more tournaments to come, so we need to be positive and more consistent. Thank you to all the fans who have not lost hope and continue to support us,” said Aaron after the match.
The Korean pair will meet India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty in tomorrow’s semifinals.
The other men’s doubles semifinal tie will see world No.1 Liang Wei Kang-Wang Chang of China clashing against former champion Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi.
Malaysia’s other contender in the men’s doubles, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi also fizzled out, losing tamely at the hands of Hoki-Kobayashi, who registered a comprehensive 21-15, 21-19 victory.
Hoki/Kobayashi will take on Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang who ended Fajar Alfian/Rian Ardianto’s hopes of defending their title with a 16-21, 21-17, 21-18 victory.
Meanwhile, two-time defending champion Viktor Axelsen got closer to his bid of winning his third consecutive Malaysia Open title after beating Ng Ka Long, but not before being given a stiff challenge from the Hong Kong shuttler.
The Dane clawed back from a game down to win 16-21, 21-18, 21-9 in a 61-minute clash against Ka Long.
Axelsen meets Shi Yu Qi, who had beaten countrymate Lu Guang Zu 8-21, 21-11, 21-10, in tomorrow’s clash.
In the meantime, Taiwan’s Li Chun-Yi caused an upset in the other men’s singles battle, defeating China’s world No.3 Li Shi Feng 21-12, 21-18.
The Taiwanese take on Denmark’s Anton Andersen, who had earlier beaten Japan’s world No.2 Kodai Naraoka 16-21, 21-12, 21-7 in a marathon one hour 17 minutes battle.
Zhang Yi Man also caused another upset in the women’s singles, winning over world No. 3 and defending champion Akane Yamaguchi for the first time in five meetings.
Zhang will now meet world No.1 An Se Young who claimed her semifinal slot after defeating Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min in an exciting battle that ended in the Korean ace winning 16-21, 21-12, 21-19 win.
Earlier in the day, Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying stormed into her third successive semifinals after defeating world No.6 He Bing Jiao of China 21-16, 21-15 in just 37 minutes.
Tai, who kept intact her record of never losing a quarterfinal match in the Malaysia Open, meets arch-rival and world No.2 Chen Yu Fei tomorrow. Chen joined the last four with a commanding display to defeat Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung 21-13, 21-17.
In the mixed doubles, Kim Win Ho-Jeong Na Eun made a huge step forward as they ousted world No. 1 Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong of China to storm into their first semifinals in the tournament tomorrow.
Kim-Jeong meet surprise winners, Terry Yee Hong Kai-Jessica Tan Wei Han of Singapore who carved their history by qualifying for a Super 1000 tournament for the first time.
In another mixed doubles quarter-final tie, China’s Jiang Zhen Bang-Wei Ya Xin notched their first win over world No. 3 Korean pair Seo Seung Jae-Chae Yu Jung to progress into the semifinals.
The Chinese world No.5 pair will square off against second seed Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino who marched into the semifinals after ousting compatriot Hiroki Midorikawa-Natsu Saito 21-14, 21-8.
Viktor Axelsen (DEN) vs Shi Yu Qi (CHN)
Anders Antonsen (DEN) vs Li Chun-Yi (Tpe)
Tai Tze Ying (Tpe) vs Chen Yu Fei (CHN)
An Se Young (KOR) vs Zhang Yi Man (CHN)
Kang Min Hyuk/Seo Seung Jae (KOR) vs Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty (IND)
Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang (CHN) vs Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi (JPN)
Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu (CHN) vs Baek Ha Na/Lee So Hee (KOR)
Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning (CHN) vs Rin Iwanaga/Kie Nakanishi (JPN)
Kim Won Ho/Jeong Eun Na (KOR) vs Terry Hee/Jessica Tan (SGP)
Jiang Zhen Bang/Wei Ya Xian (CHN) vs Yuta Watanabe/Arisda Higashino (JPN)