Soniia relishes chance to play Qi Xuan again in final


Fight on: Soniia Cheah narrowly beat Qi Xuan 19-21, 21-10, 21-17 in the round robin group stage.

PETALING JAYA: Soniia Cheah is looking forward to a rematch against youngster Eoon Qi Xuan in the women’s singles final of the Badminton Association of Malaysia Invitational Championships.

Soniia defeated the 18-year-old Qi Xuan in the round robin group stage on Wednesday but not after living dangerously in the 19-21, 21-10, 21-17 win.

Soniia, 27, and Qi Xuan qualified for tomorrow’s final after completing the six-woman contest as the top-two shuttlers.

The world No. 29 Soniia said Qi Xuan’s strong performance is timely ahead of the Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark, from Oct 3-11 as two other players – Goh Jin Wei and S. Kisona are recovering from injuries and have skipped the tournament.

“Qi Xuan has improved, she gave me a hard time. She is a fighter on the court. With her, our team have extra depth,” said Soniia.

In the Finals, Malaysia have been drawn in Group B with Australia, South Korea and Indonesia.

“It’s a tough draw as the top-two will advance to the quarter-finals. We’ve a chance against Indonesia and Australia but it will be tough against South Korea,” she added.

Soniia, who is known for her fighting spirit, said she has been adjusting to the coaching style of Indra Wijaya.

The Indonesian is her fifth coach over the last 10 years. Previously, she was under the tutelage of Chi Shanrong, Wong Tat Meng, Rony Agustinus and Datuk Tey Seu Bock.

“I’m adapting to his approach and so far, it has been good. Overall, we have a good women’s singles team,” she added.

Meanwhile, in men’s doubles, independents Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi continued their winning ways when they beat national No. 1 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik 21-18, 21-13 to emerge as Group A winners.

But all is not lost for Aaron-Wooi Yik as they too made it to the top-four elimination battle today. Only the top-two pairs in a group advance to the semi-finals.

RESULTS

Men’s singles: Lim Chong King bt Soong Joo Ven 16-21, 21-16, 3-0 rtd; Leong Jun Hao bt Ng Tze Yong 21-17, 21-15; Lim Chong King bt Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin 21-19, 12-21, 21-18.

Men’s doubles

Group A: Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi bt Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik 21-18, 21-13; Ching Kai Feng-Lwi Sheng Hao bt Chong Hon Jian-Loo Bing Kun 18-21, 21-18, 21-16.

Group B: Chen Tan Jie-Mohd Nurfirdaus Azman-Chang Yee Jun-Chia Wei Jie 23-21, 14-21, 21-15; Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong bt Chang Yee Jun-Chia Wei Jie 21-19, 17-21, 21-11.

Women’s singles: Soniia Cheah bt Lee Ying Ying 21-18, 21-14; Eoon Qi Xuan bt K. Letshanaa 21-10, 21-11.

Women’s doubles: Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean bt Teoh Mei Xing-Yap Ling 21-18, 21-15; Pearly Tan Koong Le-M. Thinaah bt Anna Cheong Ching Yik-Toh Ee Wei 21-13, 21-14

Mixed doubles: Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing bt Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying 21-19, 16-21, 21-10.
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