Easier for Aaron-Soh to reach first semis, tougher for Pearly-Thinaah in Finals


Soh Wooi Yik (left) and Aaron Chia.

PETALING JAYA: Reigning world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik have a good chance to reach their first semi-finals in their third attempt in the World Tour Finals.

In the draw released yesterday, men's doubles shuttlers Aaron-Wooi Yik have been drawn together in Group B with Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia, Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi of China and Denmark's Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

It's tougher in Group A that comprises of Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto of Indonesia, independent shuttlers Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi of Japan and Choi Sol-gyu-Kim Won-ho of South Korea.

In the 2019 and 2020 editions, Aaron-Wooi Yik failed to clear the group stage.

The top two pairs will advance to the last four.

French Open women's doubles champions Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah also have a tough road ahead of them as they have been lumped together with China's Zhang Shuxian-Zheng Yu, Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan and Indonesia's Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia.

In the mixed doubles, it's tricky for both Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing.

Barring any upsets, Soon Huat-Shevon should make the semi-final cut from Group A with China's Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong but Kian Meng-Pei Jing will have to deal with two Thailand pairs, who will be out to impress at home, in Group B.

China's Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping are the favourites to reach the last four from Group B.

Meanwhile, in the BWF's annual award ceremony yesterday, the winners were Denmark's Viktor Axelsen (best male player of the year), Japan's Akane Yamaguchi (best female player of the year) and China's Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (best pair of the year).

The other award recipients were Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto of Indonesia (most improved pair of the year), Kodai Naraoka of Japan (Eddy Choong most promising player), Daiki Kajiwara of Japan (best male para player of the year), Thomas Wangscheider-Rick Cornell of Germany (best para pair of the year).

THE DRAW

Men's singles

Group A: Viktor Axelsen (Den), H.S. Prannoy (Ind), Kodai Naraoka (Jpn), Lu Guangzu (Chn).

Group B: Chou Tien-chen (Tpe), Jonatan Christie (Ina), Loh Kean Yew (Sin), Anthony Ginting (Ina).

Men's doubles

Group A: Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto (Ina), Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Mas), Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Jpn), Choi Sol-gyu-Kim Won-ho (Kor),

Group B: Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina), Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi (Chn), Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den).

Women's singles

Group A: Chen Yufei (Chn), An Se-young (Kor), Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn), Gregoria Mariska (Ina).

Group B: Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe), He Bingjiao (Chn), Ratchanok Intanon (Tha). Busanam Ongbamrungphan (Tha).

Women's doubles

Group A: Jeong Na-eun-Kim Hye-jeong (Kor), Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakaran Aimsaard (Tha), Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien (Mas), Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawindra Prajongjai (Tha).

Group B: Zhang Shuxian-Zheng Yu (Chn), Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn), Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (Mas), Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia (Ina).

Mixed doubles

Group A: Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn), Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie (Mas), Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue (Fra), Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas (Ina).

Group B: Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha), Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (Chn), Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran (Tha), Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (Mas).

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