Peng Soon: It’s a French revolution


On the rise: Delphine Delrue and Thom Gicquel in action against Malaysia’s Chen Tang Jie and Peck Yen Wei during the second round. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles shuttler Chan Peng Soon is singing the praises of Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue despite the French pair’s exit in the quarter-finals.

On Friday, Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying went the distance to keep their unbeaten run against Gicquel-Delrue after a hard-fought 17-21,21-18,22-20 win to reach their third semi-finals.

The Malaysians will take on Japanese pair Yuki Kaneko-Misaki Matsutomo for a place in the final.

Peng Soon said he was surprised with the sudden rise in their opponents’ game.

The French pair did well in the Swiss Open two weeks ago when they emerged champions and are currently ranked 10th in the world.

“We’ve won all our previous matches against them in straight games but this time, taking them on for the first time in two years was different, ” said Peng Soon.

Peng Soon-Liu Ying had beaten Gicquel-Delrue in three tournaments in 2019 – Malaysian Masters, China Open and Japan Open.

“The player at the front (Delrue) has shown significant improvement. She is sharp and fast.

“I’m sure, they will be regular title contenders in future based on their quality show. We were just lucky to beat them this time.”

While Peng Soon-Liu Ying made it to the last four, it was the end of the road for Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing.

The duo went down tamely 17-21,9-21 to former All-England champions Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino.

The second seeded Japanese will face local favourites Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith in the other semi-finals.

In men’s singles, Viktor Axelsen has set up an all-Denmark semi-final clash against Anders Antonsen. They have met six times with the score tied at three each.

However, Antonsen stunned his more illustrious teammate at the World Tour Finals in Thailand in January.

The winner of the match will face either Lee Zii Jia or Mark Caljouw. Zii Jia was stretched to three games when he defeated the Dutchman in their only meeting at the German Open in 2019.

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