Malaysia all-out in India Open


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will have no representatives in the final of the India Open GP Gold after both their women’s and mixed pairs crashed out in the semi-finals in Lucknow.

SEA Games champions Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei were shown the exit on Saturday by youngsters Yu Xiaohan-Huang Yaqiong of China, losing 18-21, 12-21.

The Malaysians, who crashed out in the first round of the Malaysian Open last week to new pair Ma Jin-Tang Yuanting of China, had a good start as they led 17-14 in the first game.

But Vivian-Khe Wei, the world No. 18, succumbed to nerves and surrendered the lead to lose 18-21. Xiaohan-Yaqiong, the world No. 67, then ramped up the pressure to lead 11-3 in the second game before comfortably sealing their place in the final after 40 minutes.

“We didn’t play too bad but the shuttle was slow and the Chinese players were more patient than us,” lamented Vivian.

“It is disappointing to lose but we take it as a lesson. We need to work on our defence and counter-attacking game.”

In the mixed doubles, the scratch combination of Mohd Lufti Zaim and Soong Fie Cho’s unexpected run to the semi-finals came to a grinding halt after losing 12-21, 15-21, to another young Chinese combination – Huang Kaixiang-Chen Qingchen.

Kaixiang-Qingchen will meet compatriots Wang Yilv-Huang Yaqiong in the final.

In the men’s singles, exciting 20-year-old K. Srikanth of India beat compatriot H. S. Prannoy 21-18, 22-20 to reach the final.

World No. 30 Srikanth, the Thailand Open champion, will take on rising Chinese star Xue Song for the title.

In the women’s singles, world No. 9 Saina Nehwal stayed on course for her first title since the Denmark Open in 2012. She edged past China’s Deng Xuan 21-14, 17-21, 21-19 in 79 minutes to reach the final.


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