Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah

IT was a fruitful day for Malaysia as sixth seed Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi and national women’s pair Pearly Tan-Thinaah Muralitharan cruised past their first-round encounters, on a day that saw world No.1 pair Fajar Alfian-Muhamad Rian Ardianto crashing out early on the opening day of the PERODUA Malaysia Masters presented by DAIHATSU Axiata Arena, here today. 

World No. 26 pair Man Wei Chong=Kai Wun Tee were also in their elements, creating another major upset in their opening campaign after sending Denmark’s world No. 11 Kim Astrup-Anders Rasmussen (6th seed) home early.  

Man-Kai endured a stiff first set before brushing aside the Danish pair 25-23, 21-16 in 48 minutes to set up a second-round clash against either fellow Malaysian Tan Kian Meng-Tan Wee Kiong or Scotland’s Alexander Dunn-Adam Hall. 

For Pearly Tan-Thinaah, today’s 21-17,21-14 victory against Stoeva sisters – Gabriela and Stefani, came as sweet revenge, having lost to the Bulgarians in the first round of this year’s Malaysia Open in January.  

The Malaysian pair faced little resistance from the pair before sealing the tie in 40 minutes. 

“We knew, against the Bulgarians, we just have to be calm, and stay focussed and be patient…and that’s what it we did today,” said Thinaah after the match.

The duo will now meet world No.21 Japanese Rena Miyaura-Ayako Sakuramoto in the next round.  

Cheered on by the vociferous home crowd, Ong-Teo needed only 39 minutes before showing Ren Xiang Yu-Tan Qiang the exit, setting a second-round encounter against Taiwan’s Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han. 

Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto

However, the biggest upset of the day was when Korean pair Kang Min Hyuk-Seo Seung Jae halted top seed Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto’s campaign in the very first round, sending the Indonesians home after a convincing 40-minute display. 

“The Koreans were good today, we had no answer to their shots and were lagging behind most of the time, credit to them..” said Fajar after the match. 

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s top pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik endured a scare when the duo was stretched to a thrilling 55-minute rubber game before winning over Indonesia’s  world No.32, Pramudya Kusumawarda=Yeremia Erich Rambitan 21-18, 10-21, 23-21   

“We lost focus and were forced into making simple errors. The Indonesian pair capitalised on our errors and gave them more confidence. We need to rectify all our shortcomings in our next match,” said Soh and Aaron,  who will now face Korea’s world. No. 10, Choi Sol Gyu=Kim Won Ho in the second round. 

Malaysia’s other first-round victors include Malaysian independent mixed pair Chan Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See who defeated Adnan Maulana-Nita Violina Marwah but Aidil Sholeh failed to make the cut after losing to Indonesia’s Christian Adinata in a tight 77-minute encounter which ended 16-21, 21-15, 22-20. 

Ng Tze Yong

Tomorrow, the singles campaign starts with all eyes on Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong (world No.21) who faces world No.13 Kenta Nishimoto (Japan) while barring any upsets, Lee Zii Jia should have no trouble against China’s Lu Guang Zu. 

Expect a close encounter as Tan Kian Meng-Lai Peng Jing take on their Thai rival Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran in the mixed doubles while Chan Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See are up against 7th seed Kim Won Ho-Jeong Na Eun.

Chen Tan Jie-Toh Ee Wei face Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Mentari while fifth seed Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai face a tricky encounter against Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti. 

The PERODUA Malaysia Masters presented by DAIHATSU is the first tournament that offers ranking points for qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

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