Bangkok: Malaysia’s hope of ending the 30-year Thomas Cup drought continued after India denied Malaysia a place in the semi-finals by beating the Malaysian men’s team 3-2.
Malaysia was off to a perfect start when World No. 6 Lee Zii Jia saved two game-point, coming from 18-20 to ultimately win the first game 23-21 against World No. 9 Lakshya Sen in the first men’s singles match. Lee then raced to a 7-0 lead in the second set to win 21-9 and gave Malaysia a 1-0 lead.
In the first men’s doubles match that followed, World No. 13 Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin couldn’t repeat their brilliant play in the last Group D match when they beat the World No. 4 and reigning World Champions – Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi 21-19, 21-16 on Wednesday. Instead, Goh/Izzuddin were no fight for the World No. 8 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty of India, going down in straight-sets 19-21, 15-21 in 41 minutes.
Former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth gave India a 2-1 lead when the current World No. 11 beat World No. 46 Ng Tze Yong 21-11, 21-17.
Malaysia’s scratch pair Aaron Chia/Teo Ee Yi neatly capped a strong victory against Krishna Prasad Garaga/Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala of India 21-19, 21-17 sending the tie-down to the wire.
Malaysia was counting on World No. 124 Leong Jun Hao to spring a surprise against World No. 23 H.S Prannoy but that didn’t happen as Leong went down 13-21, 8-21.
India will play Denmark in the semi-finals while defending champions – Indonesia will take on Japan for a ticket to the final.
Malaysia also stopped in the quarter-finals of the 2020 Thomas Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark, when it lost to the defending champions Indonesia 0-3.