KUALA LUMPUR: Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, the world No. 9, who have been struggling to find their rhythm over the last few months, surprised the crowd on Thursday with a win over a fast attacking Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech of Thailand 21-17, 21-18 in the second round of Singapore Open.
The duo's performance in the international arena had been awful ever since taking over the country’s No. 1 spot from Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong.They've crashed out early in the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold as well as the Indian Open in New Delhi.
Thien How-Wee Kiong will play sixth seeds Lee Sheng-mu-Tsai Chia-hsin of Taiwan on Friday. They need to watch out for the Taiwanese pair due to their dangerous attacks and fast pace game.
While it was a surprise to see Hoon-Tan to be able to even win a game, I would only be surprise if world No.1 Lee Chong Wei loses a game. The 31-year-old Chong Wei, hoping to capture a back to back title after winning Indian Open last week, did not show any signs of sluggishness when he stormed the court with a dominant win 21-11, 21-6 over China’s Chen Yuekun.
Chong Wei will take on 23-year-old unseeded Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand next; whom he won their last eight meetings with straight games.
The only upset in men's singles on Thursday came when world Championships bronze medalist Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam got knocked out from the tournament by India’s K. Srikanth with 18-21, 21-15, 21-8.
All mixed doubles and women’s doubles from Malaysia were however ended their journey on Thursday.
Mixed doubles pair, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying losing to China’s Liu Cheng-Bao Yixin, 17-21, 21-12, 12-21.
Nonetheless, the pair remains optimistic: “I don't like to lose, but I am satisfied with my performance after being absent from the competition for two months. My knee was fine. We had problems at the front court but I am sure Peng Soon and I could correct them in our future tournaments” said Liu Ying.
“Peng Soon and I have built up a lot of self-confidence during Singapore Open, we are hoping for better result in the Commonwealth Games (in Scotland in July),” added Liu Ying.
The pair wills next play at the Japan Open in June.
Meanwhile, Lee Meng Yean lost both her matches on Thursday – in the mixed doubles with Ong Jian Guo and in the women’s doubles with Lim Yin Loo.