PETALING JAYA: National No. 1 women’s pair Lee Meng Yean (pic)-Chow Mei Kuan heaved a sigh of relief after reaching their first semi-final in almost two years at the Toyota Thailand Open.
The duo, ranked 14th in the world, lived up to their status when they staved off a fierce challenge from compatriots Pearly Yap-M. Thinaah before pulling off a 22-20, 21-12 win in a 50-minute quarter-final match at Bangkok’s Impact Arena.
They will take on fourth seeds Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong of South Korea for a place in the final today.
Meng Yean-Mei Kuan are the only Malaysians left in the fray following the defeat of Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen in another quarter-final match. Vivian-Cheng Wen bowed out after a 13-21, 16-21 defeat to third seeds Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan of South Korea.
Being the top pair in the country has it challenges as Meng Yean-Mei Kuan have been under fire for their lack of results.
Their previous best was reaching the final of the Indian Open in March, 2019.
“We played well today and managed to outfox our much improved younger pair,” said Meng Yean.
“Reaching the semi-final here is proof that Mei Kuan and I still have it in us. We’ve learnt over the months to look inwardly and believe in our own goals rather than being worried about our opponents.”
The duo who trains under Chan Chong Ming will start as the underdogs against the Koreans today, having lost to them at the Barcelona Masters quarter-finals in 2019.
“They are good with their smashes and our defence have to be solid if we are to stand a chance,” she said. “The key is to be patient.”
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