PETALING JAYA: Malaysian mixed doubles ace Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are back on their feet again.
The world No. 11 have responded magnificently to two the first-round exits – at the Asian Badminton Championships in late April and last week’s Indonesian Open – by checking into the semi-finals of the Australian Open in Sydney on Friday.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying took just 38 minutes for a 21-15, 21-15 win over China’s world No. 54 Liu Yuchen-Tang Jinhua, who were playing together in only their sixth tournament.
It was the Malaysians’ third straight-game victory in as many matches this week.
“We were confident throughout the match and just played steadily,” said Liu Ying.
“I think the young China pair showed us too much respect.
“They tried very hard to dictate the game, but became very nervous when they couldn’t.”
Peng Soon-Liu Ying will now take on the more established Chinese combination of Huang Yaqiong-Lu Kai as they bid to reach their second Superseries final of the year, having finished runners-up at the Malaysian Open.
They failed to beat the world No. 10 pair from China in their two previous meetings – French Open and Korean Open last year – and will be hoping to be third time lucky.
“Our semi-final opponents will be much harder to beat,” admitted Liu Ying.
The other last-four clash pits world No. 6 Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto of Indonesia against China’s Chen Qingchen-Zheng Siwei.
Indonesia’s Berry Angriawan-Ryan Agung Saputra have ended Malaysian men’s doubles pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong’s gallant run.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong, the former world No. 1, had beaten the same pair in the first round of the Indonesian Open last week. But, this time, they lost 21-18, 21-18.
Chen Long, meanwhile, has failed in his bid to retake the world No. 1 spot from Lee Chong Wei after suffering a surprise 21-14, 21-17 loss to rising Indonesia’s star Anthony Ginting in the men’s singles quarter-final.
Chong Wei now looks set to head to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics as the top seed for the second time in a row.