Birmingham: Malaysia’s Rio Olympics silver medalists Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong came from behind on both sets, defeating last week’s German Open champions and No. 4 seeds Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe of Japan 21-18, 21-19 to advance to the All England quarter-finals on Thursday.
Goh/Tan who picked up their third consecutive win against the World No. 4 Japanese pair will play Indonesia’s No. 8 seeds Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto next.
Another Malaysian men’s pair Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik also registered their third straight victory against No. 5 seeds Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark with a 21-19, 21-16 win. Chia/Soh will face the 2017 men’s doubles World Champions Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan of China on Friday.
In men’s singles, Malaysia’s Daren Liew couldn’t repeat the miracle he created early this year where he defeated Shi Yuqi of China in the Malaysia Masters quarter-finals. Instead, he lost to the defending champion Shi 8-21, 10-21 in just 33 minutes.
“It’s clear that Liew still bothered by his ankle injury. I was keeping my focus despite leading by a big margin,” said Shi.
Shi was confident that he could take on Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama on Friday. Tsuneyama stunned six-time All-England champion in the first round two days ago.
“I am very familiar with the tournament, as I won the title last year and was the runner-up the year before,” added Shi. Shi was defeated by Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei in the 2017 final.
In mixed doubles, Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai must be feeling a sense of relief as they hang tough and weathered the storm after seeing off No. 7 seeds Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith of England 21-15, 26-24 in 48 minutes. They will battle No. 2 seeds Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping of China for a spot in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying couldn’t break their jinx against Tontowi Ahmad, even when Ahmad was playing with his new mixed doubles partner Winny Oktavina Kandow. Chan/Goh slipping to a disappointed loss against the Indonesian pair with 15-21, 21-16, 21-23. It’s clear that the Indonesian camp has identified some critical weaknesses of Chan/Goh, and if the Malaysian pair would like to make a mark at the highest level of badminton tournament, they really should find a solution to their problem.