Danish pair Mathias-Alexandra finally edged past Watanabe-Higashino

KUALA LUMPUR – The phrase ‘Every failure is a step closure towards success’ is probably the one best suits the top Danish mixed doubles pair, Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje.

After losing to the world number three pair Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino of Japan in their six previous meetings, the world number 15 finally managed to notch a win against the 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist.

In the first round of the 2022 Malaysia Open today, Mathias-Alexandra however had to battle hard for over an hour to bounce back from a set down to eliminate Watanabe-Higashino 15-21, 21-17, 22-20 at the Axiata Arena.

The Danish pair is scheduled to face Singapore’s real-life couple Terry Hee Yong Kai- Jessica Tan Wei Han in the last 16 stage, tomorrow.

Speaking to Bernama after the match, Mathias said they had the confidence to stage an upset after starting to play well at the beginning of the second game, and they exactly did what needed to be done to send the reigning World Championship silver medallist home.

“We have lost all the matches in the last three years, they (Watanabe-Higashino) have stopped us every time when we go far in the tournaments, so this time is very nice to beat them. I feel relieved.

“However, we are expecting another difficult match against the Singaporeans as I feel they can play a very good and very high-level game, they even close to beating Olympic champions (Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping of China) in the recent Indonesia Open. So we will try to come up with a good game plan and stick to it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Alexandra described it as a big win, which increases the pair’s confidence for the upcoming matches in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Tour Super 750 tournament.

Earlier in the women’s singles tie, the United States’ Iris Wang stunned former world number one Saina Nehwal with a straight-set victory of 21-11, 21-17.

In the men’s singles, second seed Kento Momota received a free passage into the second round after Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen had withdrawn from today’s first-round match. – Bernama