Peng Soon-Liu Ying upset Xu Chen-Ma Jin to enjoy timely Olympic boost

Malaysia's Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in action against Xu Chen and Ma Jin of China during the second round of Celcom Axiata Malaysian open at Malawati stadium in Shah Alam yesterday. The Malaysian pair won 23-21, 21-6 (07/04/2016/S.S.KANESAN/The Star)

SHAH ALAM: National mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are on a roll.

The world No. 12 displayed arguably their best performance since being reunited a year ago to earn a morale-boosting win ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics as they downed world No. 4 Xu Chen-Ma Jin of China 23-21, 21-6 to reach the quarter-finals of the Celcom Axiata Malaysian Open on Thursday.

Peng Soon-Liu Ying outclassed the London Olympics silver medallists in 35 minutes.

The victory extended the Malaysian pair’s unbeaten streak to seven matches since they won the New Zealand Open two weeks ago.

“We didn’t expect to win in straight games as our opponents are one of the world’s top pairs ... and we’ve only beaten them once (in the last seven meetings),” said Peng Soon.

“But we had prepared well for them and we’re happy to have beaten them finally.”

Peng Soon-Liu Ying face a tricky last eight tie against world No. 39 Puavaranukroh Dechapol-Sapsiree Taerattanachai.

The Thais also scored a stunning victory against China’s third-seeded Liu Cheng-Bao Yixin.

Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree won the one-hour battle 22-20, 18-21, 21-17.

“They managed to beat a formidable Chinese pair ... so, that tells you how good they are,” said Liu Ying.

“There’s no way we’re going to take them lightly.”

Peng Soon-Liu Ying’s best-ever outing in the Malaysian Open was a runner-up finish in 2013. They also reached the semi-finals in 2012.

They did not compete last year as Liu Ying was out with a knee injury.

All-England champions Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto of Indonesia were the other seeds to be shown the exit.

The world No. 8 Indonesians went down 21-14, 21-14 to Singapore's Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Vanessa Yeo Yu Yan, who ranked 20 rungs lower.

This will be the third quarter-final appearance in Malaysia for Danny-Vanessa, who also reached the same stage in 2012 and 2013.

The pair will take on defending champions and world No. 1 Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei on Friday.


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