Malaysia is assured of a place in the men’s doubles quarter-finals in the USD400,000 Korea Open when Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin and Chooi Kah Ming-Low Juan Shen face each other in the second round after winning their first-round matches in Incheon on Wednesday.
Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin defeated hard-hitting Russia’s former All England champions Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov in straight games 21-13, 21-12 in 29 minutes.
Kah Ming-Juan Shen outplayed Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han of Chinese Taipei also in the straight games 21-13, 21-19 in 35 minutes to set up the all-Malaysian second-round clash at the Incheon Airport Skydome.
Former World No 1 Goh v Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, winners of the Chinese Taipei Open two weeks ago, also stayed on course when the professionals defeated their former teammates Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi in three hard-fought games, prevailing 16-21, 21-13, 21-16 in 46 minutes.
However, V Shem-Wee Kiong will have to raise their game for a place in the quarter-finals as they will face last week’s China Open winners and top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in the second round.
Liew Daren who was promoted from the qualifying round served a pleasant surprise to advance to the second round with a straight-game 21-19, 21-14 win over Lin Dan in his opening round men’s singles match.
The Malaysian professional will now face India’s P. Kashyap, who was also promoted to the main draw after a spate of withdrawals, for a place in the quarter-finals.
Malaysia’s top men’s shuttler Lee Zii Jia joined Daren in the second round after a 21-7, 21-15 win in 35 minutes over Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon. His second-round opponent is Rio Olympics bronze medallist and No 7 seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
In the women’s singles, Soniia Cheah crashed out 15-21, 12-21 to Indonesia’s former world junior champion Gregoria Mariska in a 32-minute encounter at the Incheon Airport Skydome.
Malaysia’s challenge in the women’s doubles was also wiped out in the first round. Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen went down 15-21, 12-21 Korean No 8 seeds Kim So Yeong-Kong Hee Yong while Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean did no better in their 14-21, 16-21 defeat to China’s Li Wen Mei-Zheng Yu. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH