Sydney: Tan Boon Heong/Koo Kien Keat have to fight hard to survive a stern test from world No. 15 Japanese men’s doubles pair Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda to reach the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Tan/Koo caught their opponents off guard in the first set when they played an elegant attacking game to down the Japanese pair 21-16. Tan/Koo continued to pressed and pressured Kamura/Sonoda in the second set but ultimately failed to clinch the match in straight-sets by losing 20-22. Even though the Malaysian duo lost a close second set, they did not appear demoralized and started the third set with similar aggression to eventually prevail over the Japanese pair 21-10 in a match that lasted 64 minutes.
Reigning Commonwealth Games men’s doubles champions Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong executed a sensational comeback in their first match of Australian Open on Wednesday. Goh/Tan took the first set with ease when the Malaysian pair tamed world No. 14 Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark 21-9 in the first set. Goh/Tan looked rattled in the second set as they failed to find rhythm at the end of the game losing 18-21. In a neck and neck decider, the Danish pair earned three match point opportunities at 21-20, 27-26, and 28-27, however, Goh/Tan showed no sign of nerves in front of their higher ranked opponents, they stepped up a gear and came out fighting in the decider by winning 30-28.
Tan Boon Heong/Koo Kien Keat and Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong became Malaysia’s sole representatives at the Australian Open as other Malaysian shuttlers were sent packing in the first round.
In another men’s doubles match, last year’s world men’s doubles champions Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Choel of South Korea ramped up their performance and advanced safely to the second round after they pulled off an upset with a 21-19, 21-15 victory over No. 2 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.