Sydney: Malaysian shuttlers started Australian Open on a positive note when three mixed doubles pairs including No. 1 seeds Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai, unseeded Chen Tang Jie/Peck Yen Wei and No. 7 seeds Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying have advanced to the second round at the Quaycentre on the Sydney Olympic Park.
Goh/Lai sent the Australia/Canada combo of Niccolo Tagle/Brittney Tam crashing out of the tournament in the opener (on Tuesday) with a 21-1, 21-10 victory. The No. 1 seeds are set to play compatriots Chen Tang Jie/Peck Yen Wei on Thursday.
On the other hand, Chen Tang Jie/Peck Yen Wei were put to the test before they managed to eke out a hard-fought win against Kang Min Hyuk/Baek Ha Na of Korea 23-21, 21-23, 21-15 in 59 minutes.
In addition to the two pairs above, the Rio Olympic mixed doubles silver medalists Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying will battle Ricky Karandasuwardi/Debby Susanto of Indonesia on Thursday for a spot in the quarter-finals.
In women’s singles, China’s Han Yue pulled off a shocker to stun No. 2 seed Michelle Li of Canada in her opening match. Han, the world number 112, defeated Li with 21-11, 21-11. Han will play Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka of India next.
Meanwhile, Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth who is also the men’s singles No. 2 seed, overcoming Israel’s Misha Zilberman 21-17, 21-14 to take on Panji Ahmad Maulana of Indonesia in the second round.
The Australian Open used to be a Superseries event from 2014 to 2017, with prize money of $750,000, but it has since been downgraded to a World Tour Super 300 event, where the prize money stands at $150,000.