PETALING JAYA: Malaysian badminton pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying showed Japan is their happy hunting ground when they pulled off a sensational upset to reach the mixed doubles semi-finals at the Japan Open in Tokyo.
The world No. 8 battled for 68 minutes to beat Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti of Indonesia 21-19, 20-22, 21-17 in the quarter-finals. It was their first-ever win over the Indonesians in three meetings.
They will take on China’s Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong, whom they have beaten en route to reaching the Indonesian Open final in July this year.
Peng Soon and Liu Ying’s fine run so far in Tokyo brought back good old memories as the duo won their first Superseries title in Japan in 2012.
The 29-year-old Liu Ying was thrilled to end their losing streak against the Indonesian No. 2 pair.
“We played well to score our first win against this Indonesian pair. We stuck to our game plan,” said Liu Ying.
“We won the Japan Open six years ago. Then, we were the younger ones and faced strong senior opponents. Now, we’re facing all young pairs. Peng Soon and I are feeling our age indeed,” said Liu Ying in jest.
On today’s semi-final clash against the world No. 1 pair, Liu Ying said: “We’ve beaten them once before but they are the favourites. We probably have a 40% chance of winning, but we’ll try to keep our rhythm going here.”
Liu Ying-Peng Soon are the only Malaysians left standing in the tournament following the exit of national No. 1 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie.
The world No. 6 bowed out with a meek 8-21, 6-21 defeat to world No. 2 Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping of China in another mixed doubles quarter-final.
Meanwhile, China’s challenge surprisingly ended in the men’s singles with the defeats of their aging stars Lin Dan and Chen Long.
Five-time world champion Lin Dan, 34, stood no chance against a ruthless Kento Momota of Japan as the reigning world champion took only 43 minutes to score a 21-8, 21-10 win for a match-up against top seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradab stunned the 29-year-old Chen Long 21-9, 24-22 to set up a meeting against South Korean Lee Dong-keun.