KUALA LUMPUR: Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah showed plenty of fire and resilience en route to becoming the first Malaysian men’s doubles pair to reach the final of the Maybank Malaysian Open since 2010.
The pair, back together for a third time after splitting up twice, were outstanding as they fought back from a game down to beat Indonesia’s Angga Pratama-Rian Agung Saputra.
The world No. 17, backed by a vociferous home crowd, won 23-25, 21-13, 22-20 in 72 minutes.
It could have ended earlier had V Shem-Khim Wah made the most of the two game points in the first game.
But it mattered not as the pair rallied strongly and held their nerves in the deciding rubber and, despite wasting three match points at 20-17, make their first-ever Super Series final appearance to send the crowd into a frenzy.
They will now meet China’s scratch combination of Chai Biao-Hong Wei, who stopped Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa, for the title.
For the record, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong were the last Malaysian pair to make the final four years ago, which was also the last time a Malaysian pair won a Super Series title.
“It’s a great win for us … we are definitely pumped up to reach the final,” said Khim Wah.
“We never thought we could make the final before the tournament but now, with this confidence booster, we want to make another push and win it.”
V Shem explained that making the most of the draught in the stadium was key to their victory.
“There was some draught but we adapted well and turned it to our advantage,” said V Shem.
“But it was quite nerve-wracking for us too … especially after we threw away the lead at 20-17 in the third game.
“Fortunately, luck was on our side this time and the crowd really helped us see it through.
“Overall, we’re just pleased to have made our first Super Series final. Although we are tired, we will try to recover fast enough for the final.”
Rian, meanwhile, attributed their defeat to the Malaysian pair’s solid defence.
“They were just so solid today … everything we threw at them didn’t work. Besides, we also made a lot of unforced errors and it was not a satisfying performance,” he said.