Tears for Pearly-Thinaah; cheers for two professional pairs

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KUALA LUMPUR: The opening day of the 2024 Malaysia Open badminton championships brought tears of despair for Pearly Tan-M-Thinaah (women’s doubles) and shouts of joy for professional pairs Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie (mixed doubles) and Ong Ewe Sin-Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles).

Despite heading into their opening round match with a 2-0 record against eight seeds Sheng Shu-Tan Ning of China, Pearly-Thinaah failed to make it three wins out of three when they fell in straight games – 20-22, 15-21 – at the Axiata Arena here today.

Pearly, gutted at not being able to keep pace with their opponents, acknowledged that the China players came up with a better strategy to outwit them.

“They kept pressuring us, they had more speed and power. Those were the changes that were evident compared to the previous two times we played against them,” she told reporters at the mixed zone.

Thankfully, Soon Huat-Shevon and Yew Sin-Ee Yi served up a double delight as they smashed their way into the second round of the Super 1000 event.

Soon Huat-Shevon prevailed 21-16, 15-21, 21-17 after a one-hour battle against the Mairs couple – Gregory and Jenny – of England in mixed doubles.

Soon Huat admitted that they let the English pair back into the match by making too many mistakes in the second game while Shevon cited their ability to back each other as being crucial to allowing them to regroup and overcome the Mairs pair in the decider.

Soon Huat-Shevon will take on either 2021 world champions Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand or Dutch pair Robin Tabeling-Selena Piek next.

Yew-Sin Ee-Yi, meanwhile, took 41 minutes to dispose of Taiwan’s Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han 21-14, 21-15 to check into the next round of the men’s doubles.

“We knew our opponents would try to win the second game but we managed to stay calm and seal victory,” Yew Sin said.

The Malaysians will face Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen next and Yew Sin said: “We will thread with caution against the in-form Danish pair.”

Astrup-Rasmussen had earlier ousted Indonesia’s Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin 21-16, 21-10.

Meanwhile, national men’s doubles pair Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun found top seeds Liang Wei Keng-Wang Chang of China too hot to handle as they fell 12-21, 19-21.

Wei Chong attributed their lack of mental fortitude to their third straight loss to the current world number one since they first crossed paths last year.

However, Kai Wun hopes to bounce back stronger in their next assignment, the 2024 India Open on Jan 16-21, where they will face Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto in the first round. –Bernama

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