Go slay more giants

Not this time: Tan Kian Meng (back) and Lai Pei Jing lost to Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino of Japan 21-19, 11-21, 14-21.

PETALING JAYA: It was Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani’s turn to shine.

The duo turned giantkillers to reach the Denmark Open semi-finals after dumping world No. 7 Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia 21-18, 21-17 in Odense yesterday.

It was their first win against the Indonesians after losing in all three previous outings.

Fajar-Rian, who played exceptionally well to deliver the second point for Indonesia against China en route to winning the Thomas Cup last week, were a pale shadow of their past form.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin started aggressively and led all the way to win. They were left 8-12 behind in the second game but fought back to regain the lead and sealed their biggest career win in just 34 minutes.

On Thursday, they had showed the same fire to beat world No. 10 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty of India 14-21, 21-15, 21-15 in the second round. It was their first win against the Indians in five meetings.

Their performances made up for the early exit of their teammates Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik. The Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medallists were beaten 19-21, 13-21 by Japan’s Akira Koga-Taichi Saito in the second round.

Sze Fei-Izzuddin will take on the winners of the match between Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Indonesians Muhammad Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana in the semi-finals. Shohibul-Bagas had upset teammates Marcus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya in the second round.

National coaching director Wong Choong Hann was impressed with the world No. 26 Sze Fei-Izzuddin’s strong showing.

“They have done well to beat two top 10 pairs in two days. They managed to show good speed and did enough to pressure their opponents here in Denmark,” said Choong Hann.

He, however, pointed out that several top pairs, including Aaron-Wooi Yik, who did well at the Olympics, Sudirman Cup and the Thomas Cup Finals, had taken a beating at the Denmark Open.

“Several top pairs who did well in the last few majors have lost while second-liners, who have been waiting for an opportunity to do well, have stepped up in Denmark, which is good,” he said.

“Aaron-Wooi Yik need to psych themselves up to regain their form. They played okay but they are not at their best.

“They have been on their toes in several tournaments now but it’s the same for everyone. They need to find that fire within them to play to their true form. I believe they can but they must have the same belief.

“We hope they will rediscover their form at next week’s French Open.”

Malaysia may have another men’s doubles in the semi-finals if independent shuttlers Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi can pour cold water on the hot run of Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel in the last eight. The Germans had defeated second seeds Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan in the opening round. n QUARTER-FINALS

Men’s doubles: Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani (Mas) bt Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto (Ina) 21-18, 21-17.

Women’s singles: Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) bt Pornpawee Chochuwong (Tha) 17-21, 21-13, 21-11; He Bingjiao (Chn) bt Wang Zhiyi (Chn) 21-16, 21-14.

Mixed doubles: Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (Chn) bt Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) 21-14, 21-17; Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt Lee Jhe-Huei-Hsu Ya-ching (Tpe) 21-9, 11-3, rtd; Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (Jpn) bt Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing 21-19, 11-21, 14-21.


Men’s singles: Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) bt Lu Guangzu (Chn) 21-15, 21-18; Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Lakshya Sen (Ind) 21-15, 21-7; Sameer Verma (Ind) bt Anders Antonsen (Den) 21-14, 21-18; Lee Cheuk Yiu (Hkg) bt Angus Ng Ka Long (Hkg) 21-16, 18-21, 21-8;Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) bt Thomas Rouxel (Fra) 21-18, 16-21, 21-19; Lee Zii Jia (Mas) bt Liew Daren (Mas) 21-11, 21-14.

Men’s doubles: Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Jpn) bt Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin (Tpe) 21-19, 21-17; Akira Koga-Taichi Saito (Jpn) bt Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik 21-19, 21-13; Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Mas) bt Alexander Dunn-Adam Hall (Sco) 21-17, 21-11; Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel (Ger) bt Lee Jhe-huei-Yang Po-hsuan (Tpe) 21-18, 21-13; Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto (Ina) bt M.R. Arjun-Dhruv Kapila (Ind) 21-15, 17-21, 21-12; Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani (Mas) bt Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty (Ind) 14-21, 21-15, 21-15.

Selected Malaysians in other eventsMixed doubles: Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing bt Ko Sung-hyun-Eom Hye-won (Kor) 18-21, 21-18, 21-13.

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