THEY gave their all in a hard-fought battle that lasted 101 minutes but in the end, it was not enough for national women’s pair Pearly Tan-Thinaah Muralitharan to upstage Korean pair BAek Ha Na-Lee So Hee in the finals of the PERODUA Malaysia Masters presented by DAIHATSU, here, today.

The Koreans and the Malaysians are now levelled with one win apiece in their past two meetings.

The Korean defeated the Malaysian pair 22-20, 8-21, 21-17 to clinch the women’s doubles title in a nail-biting match in front of a full-capacity crowd at Axiata Arena.

Victory was indeed sweet for the world No.6 pair as they created history by being the first Korean women’s pair to win the Malaysia Masters since 2009, breaking the domination of China and Japan who now have four and three titles respectively.

Pearly and Thinaah can take heart despite their loss following their fine run in the Super 500 tournament after their dismal performance of faltering in the first round of the Malaysia Open in January.

It was a close encounter in the first game as both pairs fought to and nail,  keeping the home crowd on the edge of their seats throughout the 34-minute battle which eventually saw the Koreans getting the upper hand with a 22-20 win after failing to capitalise on a three-game point advantage.

Pearly-Thinaah came back strongly in the second game, getting their act together with a solid display that left the Korean stunned after trailing 14-4, 18-7 before finally losing 21-8 in 24 minutes.

The rubber game saw some top-notch action with the Malaysian starting convincingly after leading 4-1 before the Korean drew levelled 9-9.

From then on, the Malaysian found themselves trailing most of the time but managed to reduce the gap to 18-16 before succumbing to a 20-17 defeat in 1 hour 41 minutes tie.

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