THAILAND’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn checked into his second successive semi-finals of the PETRONAS Malaysia Open after beating former world champion Loh Kean Yew in the quarterfinal encounter at Axiata Arena here, today.
World No.9 Vitdsarn, needed 80 minutes before registering a hard-fought win over the Singaporean ace 21-11, 20-22, 21-14, his third win over Kean Yew in their last four encounters.
The Thai will meet either India’s Prannoy H.S. or Japanese rising star Kodai Naraoke in tomorrow’s semi-final.
Korea’s world No.4, An Se Young stretched her winning record over Wang Zhi Yi to 4-1, after defeating the Chinese 8th world-ranked player 21-17, 16-21, 21-19 in a pulsating 77 minutes quarterfinals duel.
Se Young sets a semi-final clash against fourth seed and China’s world No. 2 Chen Yufei, who was stretched to a 57-minute encounter before getting the upper hand over Spain’s Carolina Marin’s 21-18, 21-19.
Top seed Chen Qing Chen- Jia Yi Fan as expected cruised to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles, but not before a stiff fight put up by the Stoeva sisters, Gabriela and Stefanie.
The Chinese world No.1 needed 50 minutes to force out the Bulgarians, handing them a 21-17, 21-17 defeat to take on Indonesia’s rising combination Apriyani Rahaya-Siti Fadhia Ramadhanti in the semi-finals.
Apriyani-Siti Fadhia checked into the last four after shocking third seed Kim So Yeong-Kong Hee Yong of Korea in a three-game match of 22-20, 21-15 in 62 minutes.
Third seed Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino had no trouble confirming their semi-finals ticket, winning against Seo Seung Jae-Chae Yu Jung 21-17, 21-17, ensuring their 5-3 record over the Korean pair.
Fourteen more quarterfinal matches are scheduled in the afternoon session (starting at 3.00 pm Malaysian time) with Malaysian mixed doubles pair Chen Tang Jie Toh Ee Wei playing against Thailand’s top pair Deechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai while independent men’s doubles pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi are down to face tournament favourites and world No.1 pair Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Ardianto.
The Indonesians currently hold the advantage with a 6-3 record over the Malaysian pair.