Roy King-Arif taking big strides by defeating world No. 18 Danes


Simply sensational: Wan Arif Wan Junaidi-Yap Roy King celebrating after beating Denmark’s Rasmus Kjaer-Frederik Sogaard during the quarter-final match. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Rising men’s doubles shuttlers Yap Roy King-Wan Arif Wan Junaidi outshone their seniors to march into the semi-finals of the Malaysian Masters.

While national No. 1 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, No. 2 Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and No. 3 Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun all stumbled, Roy King-Arif continued their giantkilling run by toppling Denmark’s world No. 18 Rasmus Kjaer-Frederik Sogaard 21-18, 14-21, 21-18 in a thrilling last-eight match at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

The world No. 47 pair stunned Taiwan’s world No. 12 Lee Jhe-huei-Yang Po-hsuan a day earlier and continued their great performance in front of the passionate home fans.

Roy King-Arif were thrilled with the win and are keen to continue their dream run.

“Our target was to reach the quarter-finals but now that we have come this far we want to go further and try to win the title,” said Arif.

“We did well during the first three shots today (yesterday) and this helped us to win.

“We had a big lead in the end and we got excited as we thought the match was in the bag.

“We lost focus and thankfully, we managed to break our opponents’ rhythm and hold on to win.

“The fans really helped us to get over the line. It feels great to win especially at home.

“We cannot afford to let this happen again. We need to keep our concentration until the end in our next matches,” added Arif.

Roy King-Arif have a tougher hurdle next as they will go up against another Danish pair, world No. 5 Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

Astrup-Rasmussen defeated world No. 14 Sze Fei-Izzuddin 21-19, 21-17 in another last eight match.

Roy King is looking forward to the match.

“We are excited for our next match. We want to keep focusing one by one and enjoy our game,” he said.

Meanwhile, top seeds and world No. 4 Aaron-Wooi Yik fell to a shock 21-11, 19-21, 19-21 defeat at the hands of South Korea’s world No. 34 Jin Yong-Na Sung-seung.

The former were visibly disappointed with the loss.

“In the second and third games, we did not play well during the crucial stages,” lamented Aaron.

“The Koreans did better in the first three shots while we made many mistakes.”

World No. 20 Wei Chong-Kai Wun also fared no better when they lost out 18-21, 16-21 to China’s world No. 11 He Jiting-Ren Xiangyu.

Jiting-Xiangyu will now play Jing Yong-Sung-seung in the other last four match.

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