Lee Meng Yean (front) and Lim Yin Loo in a file photo. The pair beat Shinta Mulia Sari-Yao Lei of Singapore 21-17, 22-20 in the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold quarter-finals.
PASIR GUDANG: Fourth-ranked national women’s doubles pair Lee Meng Yean-Lim Yin Loo were not expected to shine, but they proved everyone wrong by reaching the semi-finals of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Stadium.
The world No. 73 put up a worthy performance on Friday to outclass third seeds Shinta Mulia Sari-Yao Lei of Singapore 21-17, 22-20 to stake their claim for a place in the Uber Cup Finals squad.
Currently, there are three Malaysian pairs ahead of them – Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Ng Hui Lin-Ng Hui Ern and Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho – but there is still time for the coaches to change their minds as the closing date isn’t until May.
Yin Loo and Meng Yean, who have been playing together for the last six months, were happy to notch their biggest career win against the world No. 20 Shinta-Yao Lei.
On Saturday, they will take on Ou Dongni-Xiong Mengjing of China in the semi-finals.
Yin Loo, who reached the semi-finals of last year’s Malaysia Open GP with her former partner Goh Liu Ying, said: “It is great to reach the semi-finals again but this time with my new partner. We were trailing in both games but we never gave up and fought for every point.
“Hopefully, our good performance will put us back in contention for a place in the Uber Cup Finals ... we are hopeful.”
Meanwhile, there were mixed fortunes for Malaysia in the men’s doubles. Tan Boon Heong-Ow Yao Han failed to set up a semi-final match against compatriots Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem.
Boon Heong-Yao Han, playing in their first international tournament, let slip a golden chance for an upset when they went down fighting 23-25, 21-6, 19-21 to third seeds Gideon Markus Fernaldi-Markis Kido of Indonesia.
Defending champions Khim Wah-V Shem, who defeated India’s Alwin Francis-Arun Vishnu 21-18, 2-14 on Friday, will brace themselves for a tough fight against Fernaldi-Kido.
“They have done well in a short span of time as a pair. We anticipate a gruelling match but we will be ready for them,” said V Shem.