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Monday November 19, 2012

No joy for Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying fell at the final hurdle in the China Open badminton championships – denied their second Super Series title by local favourites Xu Chen-Ma Jin in Shanghai yesterday.

The Malaysian fifth seeds took to the court boosted by their semi-final win over Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir.

But they could not cope with the Chinese top seeds’ tenacious attacking play, falling to a 15-21, 17-21 defeat.

Still, it was a much improved performance from Peng Soon-Liu Ying, who were easily beaten by the world No. 1 pair in the Denmark Open last month.

The first set was all Xu Chen-Ma Jin as Peng Soon-Liu Ying made too many unforced errors.

The Malaysians played much better in the second and were neck-and-neck for much of the game before Ma Jin’s superiority at the net paid off.

“It’s sad losing in the final but we are not discouraged. We will continue to work hard and do better in future,” said Peng Soon.

Mixed doubles coach Jeremy Gan was unperturbed saying his top pair had done well to make the final, beating their Indonesian rivals for the first time in the process.

“Although they lost, they actually played quite well. They just need a little more effort to beat this China pair,” said Jeremy.

“They only lack big match temperament and we will have to work on that.

“Confidence wise, they are doing fine. Beating the Indonesian pair in the semi-finals was a massive boost.

“They just need to keep on working on their game and the results will follow.”

Peng Soon-Liu Ying will get another crack at Xu Chen-Ma Jin as they are drawn to meet in the semi-finals of Hong Kong Open which starts on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, top seed Chen Long regained the men’s singles title he lost to Lin Dan last year, by beating compatriot Wang Zhengming 21-19, 21-18 in the final yesterday.

Danish pair Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen ended the fine run of unseeded South Koreans Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae in the men’s doubles – winning 21-15, 21-14.

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