Birmingham: Three-time champion Lee Chong Wei has bowed out of the USD 500,000 All England Championships after a hard-fought men’s singles first round defeat by Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth, losing 22-24, 20-22 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Malaysian mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying might have wondered what would happen if only they’d converted the match point in the third set of All England championships first round.
Chan/Goh stormed to first set victory with 21-16 against No. 4 seeds Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na of Korea before dropping the second set 17-21. Both pairs were neck and neck on every surface in the third set, and Chan/Goh were on verge of victory when they led 20-19 in the decider, but they couldn’t finish it. The Korean pair reeled off the next three points with an array of precise shots to clinch the decider 22-20.
The route to the second round was tougher than expected for two men’s doubles pairs from Malaysia. Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong beat Bodin Issara/Nipitphon Puangpuapech of Thailand 16-21, 21-13, 21-9, taking revenge on the Malaysians’ semi-final loss at last year’s Mexico City Grand Prix. Goh/Tan will take on No. 5 seeds Chai Biao/Hong Wei of China on Thursday.
Former World No. 1 men’s doubles pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia who are in the hunt for a spot in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August, were made to work for their place in the second round, survived a stern examination from Manu Attri/B. Sumeeth Reddy of India 16-21, 21-13, 21-15 in 54 minutes. Koo/Tan will face a tough second round match at the All England as No. 2 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan are standing in their ways.