Wednesday, 2 April 2014 | MYT 8:07 PM

Peng Soon-Pei Jing deliver India Open surprise

PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing served up a pleasant shocker in the first round of the India Open, but it was more woes for singles shuttler Chong Wei Feng in New Delhi.

Wei Feng who withdrew from the semi-finals of the Malaysian Open GP Gold last month due to a back injury was clearly not at his best as he went down fighting 12-21, 21-15, 19-21 on Wednesday to Japanese veteran Sho Sasaki, who will go on to meet seventh seed Du Pengyu of China.

The day however belonged to qualifiers Peng Soon-Pei Jing who were on song as they got the better of world No. 19 and eight seeds Kenichi Hayakawa-Misaki Matsutomo 21-15, 8-21, 23-21.

It is the best win in their short stint together, in what could be their last ever tournament as a pair as Goh Liu Ying is set to return to partner Peng Soon in the Singapore Open Superseries next week (April 8-13). After changing her mind about going for knee surgery, Liu Ying spent the last few weeks on a strengthening programme with the National Sports Institute.

Peng Soon-Pei Jing’s win on Wednesday also made up for their disappointing performances in the All-England and Malaysian Open GP Gold, in which they were beaten in the first round and qualifiers respectively.

Peng Soon, who turns 26 on April 27, however believes they got lucky against the Japanese and wants to focus more on the next round, where they face South Korea’s Shin Baek-cheol-Eom Hye-won.

“We really got lucky this time especially since there was no pressure on us and we just thought about winning this match,” said Peng Soon.

“But it was definitely a better performance compared to the ones we put up at the All-England and the Malaysian Open GP Gold. Now we just need to maintain this performance heading into the next round.”

Pei Jing meanwhile attributed the win to Peng Soon’s resilience and fighting spirit.

“I wasn’t playing so well but Peng Soon covered me well and kept on encouraging me,” said the 21-year-old.

“We trailed 2-8 and 14-18 in the third game but Peng Soon kept fighting for every point without giving up. That is something I need to learn from him.

“Now we just need to prepare ourselves for the next match and try not to think too much about it.”

The other mixed doubles pair in the fray – Mohd Lufti Zaim-Soong Fie Cho, were shown the exit by Indonesia’s brother-sister pairing of Markis Kido-Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth 17-21, 11-21.

In other results, men’s pair Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah picked themselves up from a demoralising defeat in the Malaysian Open GP Gold final to Singapore’s Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Chayut Triyachart by beating India’s Manu Attri-B. Sumeeth Reddy 21-19, 21-19.

Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles, Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong crashed out to China’s Kang Jun-Liu Cheng 6-21, 18-21.

Tags / Keywords: badminton , Chan Peng Soon , Lai Pei Jing , Goh Liu Ying , India Open , Chong Wei Feng


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