Bangkok: Malaysia’s World No. 15 men’s doubles pair, Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi showed they were capable of conjuring the near-impossible by saving three match points as they produced a miraculous comeback to stun India’s World No. 95 M.R. Arjun/Dhruv Kapila 13-21, 21-8, 24-22 to reach the YONEX Thailand Open second round.
Ong/Teo got off to a slow start when they were struggling to return smashes from the Indian pair and were facing problems with tricky net shots from Arjun.
Playing with a faster tempo and more aggressively, Teo started controlling the frontcourt and Ong found successes with his smashes in the second set. Ong/Teo wrapped up the second game in 14 minutes.
In the decider, Ong/Teo were trailing 18-20, 20-21, but the increasingly inspired Malaysian duo began to capitalize on an error-prone Indian pair to win the third set in a grueling 28 minutes. Ong/Teo will now take on Phillip Chew/Ryan Chew of USA on Thursday.
In men’s singles, the unseeded World No. 41 Daren Liew of Malaysia pulled off the biggest upset of Wednesday by defeating No. 3 seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark in straight-sets with 21-12, 21-18.
The victory was also sweet revenge for Liew on Antonsen when he lost to the Dane in the second round of the 2019 World Championships.
This was not the first time Liew has exhibited a ‘magical’ touch as he also came from nowhere and had to fight to the limit to win the bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships in Nanjing, China. Liew’s playing style on Wednesday, such as his cross-court smashes and net shots showed a close resemblance to Lee Chong Wei, with the exception that Lee was quicker, more accurate, and fewer errors.
However, Liew’s stamina and endurance could be a concern if the game was dragged into the third set. He also seemed to have pulled his back muscle at the end of the second set on Wednesday. Regardless, hope Liew could produce another brilliant performance when he takes on Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong on Thursday.