Coach Flandi pleased with quality of Sze Fei and Izzuddin’s game despite defeat


PETALING JAYA: National head coach Flandi Limpele was all smiles although his charges Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani bowed out in the men’s doubles quarter-finals of the Indonesian Open in Bali.

The world No. 19 went down fighting 19-21, 19-21 to Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty of India in 43 minutes. It was also a tight match at their previous encounter in the Denmark Open, where the Malaysians scored their first win.

A day ago, Sze Fei-Izzuddin had upstaged Olympic Games champions Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin of Taiwan in the second round.

Flandi said he saw quality in their game despite the defeat.

“I’m satisfied,” said Flandi.

“I saw quality in Izzuddin and Sze Fei’s game. They showed heart in their fight. This is the way I wanted them to play – they showed that in every point,” said Flandi.

“I can boldly say that they were unlucky to lose. The Indian pair were good but it could have been anyone’s game, as that’s how close it was.”

Earlier, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik lost to former internationals Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi in the second round, which saw their hopes of qualifying for the World Tour Finals dashed.

They probably would have had a mathematical chance if Izzuddin-Sze Fei had beaten the Indian pair. Now, Satwiksairaj-Chirag, who are in the 11th spot, are expected to jump into the top eight and qualify for the Finals next week.

“Overall, our boys have done well. Aaron-Wooi Yik have upset the Olympic champions at the last tournament and this time, our second pair did the same,” said Flandi.

“There are improvements and quality in their games, and we will continue to work on their consistency.”

Flandi will now shift his focus to preparing Aaron-Wooi Yik and SzeFei-Izzuddin for the last tournament of the year – the World Championships in Spain next month.

Meanwhile, in the men’s singles, Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew continued to make his mark as he bulldozed past Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark 21-9, 21-4 to march into the semi-finals.

The Penang-born Kean Yew will face Rasmus Gemke of Denmark next.

Jonatan Christie received a free ride into the last four after Anders Antonsen of Denmark withdrew from the match due to an injury. The Indonesian will play Viktor Axelsen who defeated B. Sai Praneeth of India.

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