PETALING JAYA: Doubles shuttler Aaron Chia showed the experience gained at the Thomas Cup Finals did not go to waste.
Yesterday, the 21-year-old Aaron formed a solid partnership with Soh Wooi Yik to dump second seeds and world No. 9 Lee Jhe-huei-Lee-yang of Taiwan 21-18, 13-21, 21-19 to reach the quarter-finals of the Thailand Open in Bangkok.
It is their first win over a top 10 pair.
The world No. 48 pair will take on the winner of an all-Thailand second-round match between Nipitphon Phuangphuapet-Nanthakarn Yordphaisong and Bodin Isara-Maneepong Jongjit for a place in the semi-finals.
Aaron, who made his debut at the Thomas Cup Finals in Thailand in May by playing with senior Teo Ee Yi, was pleased with their fine showing.
“Wooi Yik and I are surprised with the upset win but we did give our 100% on the court today and played to our strong points,” said Aaron.
“We had nothing to lose and our coach (Vountus Indra Mawan) gave us lots of confidence too from the side. It helped.
“It’s great to beat a top pair for the first time. I’m playing with more confidence now since I was given a chance to play at the Thomas Cup Finals.
On the next match, Aaron said they would take it in their stride.
“There is always a chance for us but we don’t want to make the mistake of putting too much pressure on ourselves.
“We hope to keep our momentum going,” he added.
They are the only representatives left in the men’s competition following the defeats of Lee Zii Jia and Chong Wei Feng.
Hopes were high on national No. 2 Zii Jia to keep the Malaysian flag flying high in the men’s singles but he suffered a meltdown and lost 18-21, 12-21 to Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon. It was also the end of the road for former international Chong Wei Feng yesterday.
It was a case of mixed fortunes for Malaysia in the women’s singles when Soniia Cheah marched on to the quarter-finals but Goh Jin Wei’s challenge fizzled out.
Soniia took only 37 minutes to blow away Zhang Yiman of China 21-17, 21-17 to set up a meeting against P.V. Sindhu of India.
Jin Wei found Akane Yamaguchi of Japan too hot too handle and bowed out 15-21, 12-21 in just 32 minutes.