IT was a favourable day for the Malaysian camp as national doubles pairs made an impact on the opening day of the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2024 with fifth seed pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin leading the way to advance to the second round of the Super 500 tournament. 

Three other pairs – Man Wei Chong-Kai Wun Tee, Choong Hon Jian-Muhammad Haikal and Junaidi Arif-Yap Roy King were also through to the next stage after overcoming their respective first-round rivals at Axiata Arena today. 

Goh/Nur Izzuddin had no trouble overcoming fellow countrymen Low Hang Yee/Ng Eng Chong to set up a meeting against the winner of the Peeratchai Sukphun/Pakkapon Teeraratsakul -Law Cheuk Him/Yeung Shing Choi of Hong Kong China. 

Malaysia’s No. 2 pair Goh/Izzudin were given a hard time by their young rivals in the first game but in the end, sealed the match 21-11, 21-19 in 33 minutes. 

However, it was Malaysia’s rising doubles pair and debutant Arif Junaidi/Yap Roy King who stole the limelight after dispatching Xie Hao Nan/Zheng Wei Han in their first-ever encounter against the Chinese pair, rising to the occasion to beat their rivals 21-16, 21-12 in 38 minutes. 

“We gelled well and credit to Arif…we’ve learnt a lot and gained valuable experience in Thailand last week, and it helps. Before the match, we discussed with our coach the right strategy and applied it in our training yesterday,” said Yap after the match. 

“We’re happy with today’s outcome and played with great confidence which allowed us to play our game…against the fourth seed Chinese Taipei pair Lee Jhe-Huei-Yang Po-Hsuan, it’s going to be a rough ride and we need to be mentally prepared,” said Arif. 

Meanwhile, Malaysia is assured of a place in the quarterfinals of the men’s doubles with Man/Tee taking on Choong Hon Jian/Muhammad Haikal in the second round. 

Man/Tee, playing in their first competition this year, opened up their campaign with a straight-game victory over Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Chien Wei/Wu Hsuan Yi, who had a 1-0 advantage after beating the Malaysian in last year’s Australia Open. The Malaysian however, overcame early jitters in the first game to win the tie 22-20, 21-12 in 30 minutes. 

“The first game was a bit off, we could not take control…we set out well in the second, taking early control and dominated the match with more confidence in our game and shots,” said Man. 

Also through to the next round were Malaysia’s Choong Hon Jian/Muhammad Haikal who overcame seniors Azryn Ayub/Tan Wee Keong in a tight 40-minute match which ended 22-20, 21-19. 

“It was not our best performance, we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. I think we can’t do much better than today. Let’s hope that against Man and Tee, we can ease off our on-court pressure,” said Haikal, promising a more solid display in their second-round encounter. 

In the women’s section, Malaysia’s sole doubles representative Go Pei Kee/Low Yeen Yuen advanced to the next round after defeating Ukrainian pair Polina Buhrova/Yevheniaa Kantemyr 21-15, 21-15 to set up an encounter against Australian pair and eight seed Setyana Mapasa/Angela Yu. 

“We need to improve for our next encounter, need to be more solid with our game,” said Go after their match. 

The Perodua Malaysia Masters action gets hotter with eyes firmly on local heroes in action tomorrow, with Thailand Open champion and fifth seed Lee Zii Jia opening his campaign against China’s Zhao Jun Peng. 

Women’s second seed pair Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan booked their spot in the second round without breaking a sweat after a walkover over their Thai rivals Pichamon Phatcharaphisutsin/Nannapas Sukklad. The duo take on India’s Simran Singhi/Ritika Thaker in the next round. 

Leong Jun Hao will be under spotlight as he faces China’s Lei Lan Xi, who beat the Malaysian in last year’s quarterfinal encounter of the Korea Masters. 

Top seed and favourites Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik take on Korean pair Kim Yong Hyuk/Wan Chan for the first time tomorrow, while top mixed pair Cheng Tang Jie/Teo Ee Yee square up against 42nd-ranked Pakkapon Teeraratsakul/Phataimas Muenwong. 

Hoo Pang Ron/Cheng Su Yin take on Hung Kuei Chun/Tsang Hiu Yan of Hong Kong China while K. Letsanaa will have a tall order against top seed Han Yue of China.  

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