Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah once again captured the limelight in the national badminton scene when they put up a rocking performance to slide into the second round of badminton’s oldest event, the All-England which is being held in Birmingham this week.
Up against the fourth-seeded duo from Thailand Jongkolphan Kititharakul – Rawinda Prajongjai, Pearly and Thinaah were in their own class in the first round meet even though they came on court as the underdogs.
And the action was ntense as both sets of players hunt down points for points for the score to tie 9 apiece.
But Pearly and Thinaah soon wrested control as they sift out their opponent’s pattern to shut down Kititharakul-Prajongjai to win the first set with a 21-17 victory.
The game went up a gear in the second set as Jongkolphan-Rawinda upped the speed but Pearly and Thinaah remained calm and did not lose focus for the points.
And even when the situation became critical when the two doubles were tied at 20-20, Pearly-Thinaah made full use of the spaces left in between to win 23-21 thus confirming their place to the second round.
“We didn’t expect this win as we were playing against higher ranked players. We played well especially when it came to the positional changes and also the communication and the trust that we have in each other,” said Pearly, who will take on English duo Jessica Hopton-Jenny Moore next.
“What’s important for us was to focus on every point in every match. The momentum of our match is at its best and hopefully it will remain for the next challenge,” added Thinaah.
Following in the footsteps of Pearly-Thinaah is mixed doubles pair Cheng Tan Jie-Peck Yen Wei who overcame England’s Gregory Mairs-Jenny Moore in three-set 21-13 18-21 21-18.
Tan Jie-Yen Wei will face seventh seeded duo from France – Thom Gicquel- Delphine Delrue.
Also confirming their slot into the next round is sixth seeded Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing who faced little difficulty to coast past Japanese pair, Takuro Hoki-Nami Matsuyama in straight set 21-13 21-13.
However, a different fate befell another young doubles Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See who conceded a 13-21, 14-21 loss to Danish duo Niclas Nohr-Amalie Magelund
Two national professional doubles, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Ong Yew Sin – Teo Ee Yii also advanced to the second round after beating their respective opponents.
But the same could not be said of young men’s doubles, Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong, who could not emulate their fine performance at the Swiss Open when they conceded a 16-21, 19-21 loss to Danish pair, Mathias Christiansen-Niclas Nohr.
Also progressing to the second round was men’s singles Lee Zii Jia who beat Canadian Brian Wang in straight set 21-13, 21-10 and where he will meet Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus in the second round today.
Another national representative Liew Darren stumbled in the first set when he lost to HS Prannoy from India, 10-21, 10-21.
Meanwhile in the women’s singles, S. Kisona lost 6-21, 7-21 to the eighth seed from Thailand, Busanan Ongbamrungphan while Soniia Cheah conceded a 11-21, 17-21 defeat to fifth seeded Indian player Pusarla V. Sindhu.