Incheon: Having already secured at least a bronze medal, Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei are still in the race for their first Asian Games title after a great escape in the quarter-final match versus Macau’s Wang Rong-Zhang Zhibo.
The Malaysian pair came out unscratched in the first set, winning 21-15 in 16 minutes. But the Macau players regrouped themselves and managed to find that necessary energy to win the second set 21-19 over the Malaysian pair in 19 minutes. It was a neck-and-neck affair between the two pairs in the decider, as there were multiple lead exchanges the entire game. Vivian-Woon wasted three match point opportunities and unforced errors led to Wang-Zhang inching closer from 16-20 to 19-20. Fortunately, the Malaysian pair kept their nerves cool and went on to win the third set 21-19.
Woon Khe Wei admitted they were struggling to close out the third set when they were leading by 20-16.
“Wang-Zhang used to play for the China team, we were a bit impatient and make some unforced errors, fortunately we were able to shrugged off our sluggishness to clinch the victory,” said Woon Khe Wei after the match.
Vivian and Woon will face a stiff test on Friday from Japan’s Ayaka Takahashi-Misaki Matsutomo. The Japanese pair blasted past Thailand’s Duanganong Aroonkesorn-Kunchala Voravichitchaikul 21-14, 21-12 in another quarter-final match.
When asked about their semi-final match on Friday, Vivian Hoo acknowledged that their confidence has been boosted by the win over China’s Yu Yang-Wang Xiaoli.
“We are more confident on the court now. We want to keep our level high when we play against the Japanese pair in the semi-final tomorrow,” said Vivian.