Singapore: Malaysia’s unseeded Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing survived a huge scare after digging in to save two match points to overcome No. 7 seeds Hafiz Faizal/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia 21-16, 20-22, 22-20 in 71 minutes to make the Singapore Open final.
This semi-final victory also ended Tan/Lai’s two-year drought of making the final of any tournaments since the 2017 Malaysia Masters.
Tan/Lai got off to positive start in the first set by leading through the whole game to win 21-16. It was a tug-of-war in the second game, as the two sides tied for 13th times to eventually won by the Indonesians.
Both pairs stayed neck-and-neck the whole way in the decider. After being locked at 18-18, Faizal/Widjaja scored two points that put the Indonesians on the verge of victory. Tan/Lai then held their nerves to complete one of the bravest comebacks at this year’s Singapore Open by reeling off four consecutive points to win the semi-final.
Lai Pei Jing said this was a valuable experience for them after she and Tan Kian Meng have gone through a difficult two years.
“We have some disagreements but we got back together, and are working together towards a common goal,” said Lai.
“I think tomorrow’s final will be tough. It’s a 50-50 match. But I think the Thai pair has better fitness than us,” added Lai.