Malaysia is assured of a place in the mixed doubles semi-finals in the USD150,000 New Zealand Open when Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing play Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying in the quarter-finals on Friday.
The two pairs checked into the last eight after winning their respective second round matches at the Event Finda Stadium in Auckland on Thursday.
Kian Meng-Pei Jing, the Singapore Open runners-up, advanced with a 21-13, 21-10 win over Indonesia’s Akbar Bintang Cahyono-Annisa Saufika while Rio Olympics silver medallists Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, who turned professionals this year, defeated locals Edward Lau-Alyssa Tagle 21-17, 21-15.
Also vying for a slot in the semi-finals is the Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie. The third seeds stopped Lee Jhe Huei-Hsu Ya Ching of Chinese Taipei 21-10, 21-19.
They next play Indonesian fifth seeds Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti who beat Kiwis’ hope Dhanny Oud-Jasmin Ng Chung Man 21-12, 21-12.
Interesting to note Malaysia’s three pairs in the men’s doubles will be up against Japanese hurdles in their quarter-final matches.
Seventh seeds Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong take on fourth seeds Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko while eighth seeds, All-England runners-up Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik face a tough hurdle in top seeds Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda.
Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi will take on newly crowned Asian champions and third seeds Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe, who also won the German Open this year.
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles, Lee Zii Jia will battle sixth seed Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong China for a place in the semi-finals. Zii Jia defeated Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai 23-21, 21-16. RIZAL ABDULLAH