Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Chong Wei Feng, Zulfadli Zulkiffli in Russian Open quarters

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Koo Kien Keat & Tan Boon Heong will next face tough Russians Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov for a place in the semi-finals. (photo: BWF)

Jakarta: Has an airline ever lost your luggage? Well, Malaysian men’s doubles pair Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong whose luggage were delayed en-route to Russia, finally recovered their delayed luggage on Wednesday evening.Koo Kien Keat & Tan Boon Heong will next face tough Russians Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov for a place in the semi-finals. (photo: BWF)

“We almost withdraw from the tournament due to the lost luggage. We were without our equipment on Wednesday, luckily we got a first round walkover from our Japanese opponents,” said Boon Heong.

Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong were taken to three agonizing sets by Kazuaki Oshima/Yuki Umino of Japan, before clinching a hard fought triumph in the Russian Open men’s doubles second round match on Thursday, winning 16-21, 21-10, 21-15 in 43 minutes. Koo/Tan will face the lanky top seeds and world No. 11 pair Vladimir Ivanov (197cm)/Ivan Sozonov (184cm) of Russia in the quarter-final. Koo/Tan enjoyed a 2-1 head-to-head lead over the Russians, but lost their last encounter at China Open two years ago.

Other Malaysian men’s doubles pairs also fare quite well in the second round of Russian Open, where Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong defeated Khaitmurat Kulmatov/Artur Niyazov of Kazakhstan, and Hoon Thien How/Lim Khim Wah came out on top after closing out the match in the third set against compatriots Mak Hee Chun/Teo Kok Siang 23-25, 21-15, 21-15.

Chong Wei Feng who is determined to pull himself out of his recent slump, cruised past Jan Frohlich of Czech Republic 21-7, 21-13 on Thursday to reach the quarter-final. He will take on world No. 32 Ajay Jayaram of India on Friday.

However, another Malaysian men’s singles Zulfadli Zulkiffli was made to work for 80 minutes to subdue Henri Hurskainen of Sweden in a tough third round match, prevailing with 22-24, 21-19, 21-14.

Meanwhile, men’s singles top seed Tommy Sugiarto will take on European Games gold medalist Pablo Abian in the quarter-final.

A three-set win in the mixed doubles rubber saw Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia defeated Russians Anatoliy Yartsev/Evgeniya Kosetskaya 21-11, 17-21, 21-12  and set up their quarter-final match against another Russian pair Rodion Alimov/Alina Davletova on Friday.

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