Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong failed to reach the semi-finals in the USD750,000 The Star Australian Open Superseries at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Center in Sydney on Friday when they were beaten sixth seeds Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan of China in the quarter-finals.
The Chinese walked away with a straight sets 21-11, 21-19 win in a 40 minute match but there is no shame in the defeat for the Malaysian pair who had to come through the qualifying rounds for a place in the main draw.
It was their first time playing together in their bid to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Australian Open Superseries, which is the richest superseries tournament and also the first tournament offering olympic qualifying points, showed Kien Keat-Boon Heong, playing as privateers, achieved a fair amount of success in Sydney.
Give them some time to gel and overcome the rustiness and the former World No 1 and Doha Asian Games gold medallists, have it in them to be a much feared pair.
Meanwhile, defending women’s singles champion and current world No 1 Saina Nehwal of India surrendered her title with a disappointing 15-21, 13-21 defeat to China’s Wang Shixian in 42 minutes on a day when top seed Li Xuerui (China) was also shown the exit.
Xuerui, the former World No 1 found the going tough against South Korea’s World No 7 Sung Ji-hyung who won a three-set thriller 21-17, 10-21, 21-17 in 63 minutes.
Reigning world champion Carolina Marin (No 3 seed) defeated another China hopeful Wang Yihan (No 8) 21-7, 21-18 in 40 minutes.
In the men’s singles two Danes – Jan O Jorgensen, seeded No 3 in Sydney stopped China’s Wang Zhengming 21-18, 16-21, 21-8 in 46 minutes to earn a semi-final berth against compatriot Viktor Axelsen who knocked out Thailand’s veteran and five-time Olympian Boonsak Ponsana 21-19, 21-15. Viktor is best remembered for knocking out Chinese superstar Lin Dan – a five-time world champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist in the first round.
Selected Second Round Results
Jan O Jorgensen (Den) beat Wang Zhengming (China) 21-18, 16-21, 21-8
Viktor Axelsen (Den) beat Boonsak Ponsana (Tha) 21-19, 21-15
Tian Houwei (China) beat Rajiv Ouseph (Eng) 21-9, 21-12
Chen Long (Chn) beat Vincent Wong Wing Ki (Hkg) 21-14, 21-13
Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon Seong (Kor) beat Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa (Jpn) 21-10, 21-16
Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan (Chn) beat Koo Kien Kiat-Tan Boon Heong 21-11, 21-19
Liu Cheng-Lu Kai (Chn) beat Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek Choel (Kor) 21-16, 21-13
Wang Shixian (Chn) beat Saina Nehwal (Ind) 21-15, 21-13
Carolina Marin (Spn) beat Wang Yihan (Chn) 21-7, 21-18
Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) beat Li Xuerui (Chn) 21-17, 10-21, 21-17
Bae Yeon-ju (Kor) Michelle Li (Can) 21-8, 17-21, 21-10
Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Ina) beat Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock (Eng) 21-9, 21-12
Reginald Lee Chun Hei-Chau Hoi Wah (Hkg) beat Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen (Den) 21-16, 13-21, 21-19