Arif Junaidi/Yap Roy King Advance to Spain Masters Final

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Arif Junaidi/Yap Roy King make the 2024 Spain Masters final. (photo: BWF)
Arif Junaidi/Yap Roy King make the 2024 Spain Masters final. (photo: BWF)

Madrid: In a thrilling upset, the World No. 65 Malaysian young men’s doubles pair, Arif Junaidi/Yap Roy King, have advanced to the men’s doubles final of the 2024 Spain Masters by stunning the French brothers Christo Popov/Toma Junior Popov in straight sets.

Arif Junaidi/Yap Roy King needed 32 minutes to defeat World No. 45 Christo Popov/Toma Junior Popov of France with scores of 21-17, 21-17, advancing to the final to face Indonesia’s World No. 34 Sabar Karyaman Gutama/Moh Reza Pahlevi Isfahani. Junaidi/Yap are aiming to win their first BWF World Tour championship since they started playing together.

Highlights of Arif Junaidi and Yap Roy King vs. Christo Popov/Toma Junior Popov in the 2024 Spain Masters semi-finals:

This is a significant breakthrough for Junaidi/Yap, especially when Yap just returned from a lengthy injury layoff. Nevertheless, their teamwork and fighting spirit were on full display in the Saturday’s semi-final victory.

Gutama/Isfahani, on the other hand, eliminated Denmark’s World No. 60 William Kryger Boe/Christian Faust Kjær in the other semi-final with scores of 21-15, 16-21, 21-15.

This marks the fourth encounter between Junaidi/Yap and Gutama/Isfahani in international tournaments, with Gutama/Isfahani having a slight advantage with 2 wins to 1 loss in their head-to-head record.

Despite the disappointment in the men’s doubles, Toma Junior Popov fought fiercely for 73 minutes in the men’s singles semi-final to beat Chinese Taipei’s 3rd seed, Chou Tien Chen, with scores of 21-15, 20-22, 21-18, and will compete against Singapore’s No. 2 seed, Loh Kean Yew, for the men’s singles title.

Although Taipei made up 50% of the men’s singles semi-final spots, after Chou Tien Chen’s exit, Wang Tzu Wei also lost to Loh Kean Yew in the other semi-final with scores of 13-21, 21-8, 15-21.

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