KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing were forced to dig deep to prevent a shocking first round exit at the Perodua Malaysian Masters.
The world No. 11 mixed pair recovered from a terrible start to beat Denmark's Anders Skaarup Rasmussen-Line Kjaersfeldt 11-21, 21-16, 21-14 at the Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil on Tuesday.
The win earned them a second round clash with either compatriots Chen Tang Jie-Cheah Yee See or Thailand's Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Puttita Supajirakul on Thursday (Jan 18).
"I think we started a little nervous and we felt the pressure. We wanted to do well in front of the home crowd but we couldn't execute our game plan and we made too many mistakes in the first game," said Pei Jing.
"But we managed to hang on and we gained momentum by taking it one point at a time."
There were no such troubles for two other pairs - world No. 13 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and Rio Olympics silver medallists Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.
Eighth seeds Soon Huat-Shevon were too strong for Holland's Jacco Arends-Selena Piek as they won 21-17, 21-17. They meet Taiwan's Wang Chi-lin-Lee Chia-hsin next.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying, fresh from winning the Thailand Masters last week, also kept up their good run by thrashing French pair Bastian Kersaudy-Lea Palermo 21-11, 21-17 to set up a second round showdown with sixth seeds Mathias Christiansen-Christinna Pedersen of Denmark.
Meanwhile, world No. 2 Lee Chong Wei, who is gunning for his sixth Malaysian Masters crown, opens his campaign against Japan's Kenta Nishimoto on Wednesday (Jan 17).
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