Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin put Malaysian Masters pain behind with roaring start

Winners: Sze Fei (left) and Izzuddin beat Taiwan’s Lu Ching-yau-Yang Po-han in the first round.

PETALING JAYA: Men’s doubles pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani shrugged off their disappointing quarter-final exit at the Malaysian Masters last week by making a brisk start in the Singapore Open yesterday.

World No. 14 Sze Fei-Izzuddin, who were beaten by eventual champions and world No. 4 Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark at the Axiata Arena last week, downed Lu Ching-yau-Yang Po-han of Taiwan 21-18, 21-13 in a 46-minute first-round clash.

The Malaysians will have to be prepared for a tough second-round battle tomorrow where they will meet world No. 8 Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi after the China pair had overcome Christo Popov-Toma Junior Popov of France 25-23, 21-10 in their opening round match yesterday.

But Sze Fei-Izzuddin could still head into the second round with confidence as their head-to-head record against Yuchen-Xuanyi is tied at 2-2.

Izzuddin was happy with the way they played against the Taiwan pair yesterday.

“We were able to bring out our best performance today and I’m also happy as this is our second win over the Taiwan pair,” said Izzuddin.

“There is improvement in our performance and we hope to maintain our consistency after this.”

Malaysia’s top pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, who dropped one rung from No. 4 to No. 5 after their quarter-final defeat at the Malaysian masters, will be out to make amends in Singapore.

They will play Taiwan pair Chng Ko-chi-Po Li-wei in their opening match today.

World No. 20 Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun, who also came unstuck in the last eight of the Malaysian Masters, will be meeting Thailand’s Supak Jomkoh-Kittinupong Kedren in their opening match.

In the women’s doubles, world No. 13 Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah were a pale shadow of themselves as they suffered a 10-21, 10-21 defeat to world No. 3 Liu Shengshu-Tan Ning of China in the first round.

Thinaah said that they were unable to cope with the speed and aggression of the China pair.

“They used their speed and power to pile the pressure on us and we did not find a solution against them,” said Thinaah.

“Although they are still a young pair, their aggressive display is something that we can learn from.”

Meanwhile, another Malaysian pair Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei also recovered from their Malaysian Masters setback to reach the second round.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei were beaten by compatriots Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie in the semi-finals and the independent pair went on to win the mixed doubles title at the Axiata Arena.

World No. 9 Tang Jie-Ee Wei played another Malaysian pair Hoo Pang Ron-Cheng Su Yin in Singapore but stayed firm to secure a 21-15, 21-17 win in 30 minutes.

They face Mathias Christensen-Alexandra Boje of Denmark for a place in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

Soon Huat-Shevon received an extra day’s rest after their Malaysian Masters victory and open their campaign against Sumeet Reddy-Siki Reddy of India while another independent pair Tan Kian Ming-Lai Pei Jing will meet Germany’s Jan Colin Voelker-Isabel Lohau in the first round.

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