# Malaysia’s top mixed doubles pair upset Korean top seeds in semis
# China’s Huang Yuxiang stops Soo Teck Zhi’s winning run in men’s singles
By Rizal Abdullah
With the Malaysia Open and the Olympics on their mind Malaysia’s No 1 mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying pulled off a sensational upset over top seeds Ko Sung-hyun-Kim Ha-na of Korea to reach Sunday’s final in the New Zealand Open.
In the semi-finals in the USD120,000 SKYCITY New Zealand Grand Prix Gold in Auckland on Saturday the Malaysians, seeded third, gave fighting display to shock the Korean favourites in a nail-biting 68 minute affair before prevailing 21-19, 10-21, 24-22.
It was just not Korea’s day in the mixed doubles when second seeds Shin Baek-cheol-Chae Yoo-jung were beaten by China’s Zheng Siwei-Li Yin Hui 22-20, 15-21, 21-18 in their semi-final match.
But the day belonged to the Peng Soon-Liu Ying who showed plenty of guts and determination and fighting spirit to pull themselves out of the grave in the decider and clinched their win with their third match point after saving match point at 20-19.
“This is really very, very wonderful…to reach the final,” said Liu Ying in a live interview on TV after the match.
“What we need in the final is self-confidence. We face tough opponents but if we have self-confidence it will be a very important factor for us.”
Peng Soon himself was all smiles with the win over the Koreans but admitted they need to cut out the mistakes during a match.
“We made simple mistakes in the second set against the Koreans and we paid the price. The final will be a tough match but we will give our best to win the title,” said Peng Soon.
However, it was the end for Soo Teck Zhi in the men’s singles when he lost in straight sets 18-21, 17-21 to China’s Huang Yuxiang in the semi-finals which lasted 46 minutes.
Still, it was commendable effort from the 2013 Asian junior champion who knocked out fourth seed Hsu Jen-hao of Taiwan in the third round with a 21-17, 21-10 win.
In the quarter-finals Teck Zhi defeated China’s Youth Olympics gold medallist Shu Yuqi 11-21, 22-20, 21-14.
RESULTS (All Semi-Finals)
Riichi Takeshita (Jpn) beat Nugueyn Tien Minh (Vie) 21-15, 21-17
Huang Yuxiang (Chn) beat Soo Teck Zhi (Mas) 21-18, 21-17
Angga Pratama-Ricky Karanda Suwardi (Ina) beat Huang Kaixiang-Zhang Siwei (Chn) 21-19, 24-22
Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol (Kor) beat Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (Ina) 21-16, 21-16
Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) beat Chiang Mei Hui (Tpe) 21-13, 21-8
Aya Ohori (Jpn) beat Bae Yeon-ju (Kor) 21-16, 21-17
Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) beat Setyana Mapasa-Gronya Somerville (Aus) 21-11, 21-7
Chang Yena-Lee So-hee (Kor) beat Go-ra-Yoo Hae-won (Kor) 21-15, 17-21, 21-19
Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) beat Ko Sung-hyun-Kim Ha-na (Kor) 21-19, 10-21, 24-22
Zheng Siwei-Li Yunh Hui (Chn) beat Shin Baek-cheol-Chae Yoo-jung (Kor) 22-20. 15-21, 21-18