Shi Yuqi, Loh Kean Yew, Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan Off to Strong Starts at Japan Open

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Shi Yuqi is slowly getting back into his best form. (photo: Xinhua)
Shi Yuqi is slowly getting back into his best form. (photo: Xinhua)

Osaka: Shi Yuqi, Loh Kean Yew, and Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan began their quests for the 2022 Japan Open in style as they managed to advance into the second round.

Playing his second competitive tournament since being banned by the Chinese Badminton Association last October, the World No. 22 Shi was made to work by the World No. 20 Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark before beating the 36-year-old Dane 23-21, 18-21, 21-14 in the first round.

Shi will play Brice Leverdez of France in the second round.

Singaporean shuttler, Loh Kean Yew who is now ranked World No. 7, was playing with exceptional speed and net shots to beat last week’s World Championships bronze medalist Zhao Jun Peng of China 21-15, 21-9. Loh will next meet H.S Prannoy of India.

In women’s doubles, Malaysia’s World No. 11 women’s doubles pair – Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan came back from dropping the first game to shock World No. 2 Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan of Korea 16-21, 21-14, 21-18 in 61 minutes. The Malaysian pair will meet another Korean pair – Baek Ha Na/Lee Yu Lim on Thursday.

Besides Tan/Muralitharan, Vivian Hoo/Lim Chiew Sien of Malaysia also entered into the women’s doubles second round by outlasting Linda Efler/Isabel Lohau of Germany 21-17, 23-21. Hoo/Lim will battle the winners between Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan and Yeung Nga Ting/Yeung Pui Lam next.

Meanwhile, Malaysia has two mixed doubles pairs made the second round. Hoo Pang Ron/Toh Ee Wei will play Robin Tabeling/Selena Piek of the Netherlands while Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai are most likely to face Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino of Japan in the last 16.

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