PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Open champions Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah led the way as three doubles pairs booked their spots in the quarter-finals of the German Open in Mulheim.
On Thursday, V Shem-Khim Wah cut it close as they battled to a nail-biting win over home favourites Michael Fuchs-Johannes Schoettler 21-18, 16-21, 21-19 in the second round.
The seventh-seeded pair will go on to meet top seeds Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan in the quarter-finals.
The Japanese duo, who are currently ranked third in the world but are still seeking their first title since the Australian Open in 2010, brushed aside Belgium’s Mattijs Dierickx-Freek Golinski, 21-7, 21-14.
“Despite the score, I thought we played pretty well against the Germans,” said V Shem.
“It’s nice to reach the quarter-finals and we’re definitely going to step it up against Endo-Hayakawa.
“They are the top seeds and are also a very good pair so the pressure is not on us. We’ll go in aiming for the upset,” he said.
Second seeds Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong also made it through by beating another Japanese pair Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata, 21-14, 21-18.
The world No. 8, who were a letdown in the Korean and Malaysian Opens last month, losing in the first round, will go on to meet South Korea’s Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol for a place in the semi-finals.
Independent pair Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock however crashed out in the second round, losing 14-21, 18-21 to Taiwan’s Tsai Chia-hsin-Lee Sheng-mu.
The men’s singles challenge fizzled out after Liew Daren suffered an unexpected 14-21, 12-21 defeat to India’s Arvind Bhat in the third round.
Daren, who has now slipped to No. 40 in the world, will certainly struggle to get his ranking back up especially since he needs to compete from the qualifiers at the All-England in Birmingham next week.
Women’s doubles pair Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei however completed a strong finish for the national squad to join their male counterparts in the last eight.
The SEA Games champions outclassed Taiwan’s Cheng Chi-ya-Wu Ti-jung 21-16, 21-13, to set up a clash against top seeds Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi of Japan in the quarter-finals.