KUALA LUMPUR: Top Japanese women’s pair Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi have a poor record against opponents from China.
They are also one of the few top pairs in the world who have yet to bag a Super Series title.
The pair, who reached a career high No. 2 in the world last year before slipping down to fourth, however believe that has kept them hungry and motivated at the highest level.
And Matsutomo-Takahashi have certainly shown that in the Maybank Malaysian Open here.
On Friday, they scored a rare win over Olympic champions Tian Qing-Zhao Yunlei of China in the quarter-finals.
Then on Saturday, they outlasted compatriots Reika Kakiiwa-Miyuki Maeda in 86 minutes to reach the Malaysian Open final for the second straight year.
“We’re obviously very tired ... but we just keep pushing ourselves to do better,” said Matsutomo.