A day after taking the prized scalp of world champions Malaysia’s top men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik was brought down to earth by Japan’s fourth-seeded Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda in the semi-finals in the USD700,000 Fuzhou China Open on Saturday.
The Malaysians crashed to a 13-21, 14-21 defeat in 31 minutes – as they search for their first world tour title. Their next hope is the Hong Kong Open which begins on Tuesday. Aaron-Wooi Yik’s best this year is reaching the All-England Finals.
Hopes soared when the young Malaysians, ranked 14 in the world, beat reigning All England and world champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 21-13, 22-20. It was the first win for the Malaysians in five outings.
However, Aaron-Wooi Yik once again slumped to nervousness and pressure against the hard-hitting Japanese. They also lacked the confidence against the aggressive Japanese opponents.
It was also the end of the road for Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie in the mixed doubles. The world No 11 failed to raise their game against the world’s top pair Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong and went out tamely 16-21,10-21 in 34 minutes.
In the quarter-finals, on Friday the Malaysian defeated Thailand’s fourth-ranked Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerrattanachai 21-13, 21-18 for their first win against the Thais in four outings this year.
Still, it was an encouraging out for the Malaysian losers in Fuzhou.
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles current world No 1 Nozomi Okuhara rode into the final after top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei retired with a left knee injury with the score standing 19-21, 21-12, 11-6 in favour of the Japanese.
Okuhara will meet China’s defending champion Chen Yufei for the title on Sunday. Third-seeded Yufei in the final after the Chinese came through a three-game battle to prevail 20-21, 21-8, 21-17 in 71 against Canada’s Hong Kong-born Michelle Li. – By Rizal Abdullah