Pearly-Thinaah crash out, Pang Ron-Mei Xing delight crowd

KUALA LUMPUR – It wasn’t a season beginning that the country’s top women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah would have asked for, but that was what the local fans had to digest when the duo suffered a surprise first-round defeat in the ongoing Malaysia Open badminton championships.

The world number six pair crashed out of the BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament in straight sets 19-21,14-21 to Bulgarian siblings Gabriela Stoeva-Stefani Stoeva, ranked 16 in the world, at the Axiata Arena here today.

The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games champions, who were not in their best form today, were dejected after letting down the home crowd.

“Not a good match for us, and we didn’t play really well. Of course, our opponent played very well today, they controlled the shuttle well. They did really pressure us in the second set with an aggressive attack, while we didn’t do our part well,” said Pearly.

Thinaah on the other hand wants to move forward and remain determined to come back stronger in the India Open next week.

“I think today wasn’t our day, nothing went well for us. We need to go back, talk about today’s match, analyse and come back stronger,” she added.

Meanwhile, newly minted mixed doubles pair Hoo Pang Ron-Teoh Mei Xing created one of the biggest upsets in the tournament when they stunned world number 16 pair Kyohei Yamashita-Naru Shinoya 21-11, 15-21, 21-19.

Despite only playing their third tournament together since being paired up in December, the world number 157 pair showed confidence and determination to oust the Japanese pair.

“First set was slightly nervous, but we got the momentum in the second set and managed to adapt to the wind in the third to be able to win,” said Pang Ron, adding that they will chart their strategy to face eighth seeds Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue of France in the second round on Thursday.

Mei Xing, who will be playing in the women’s doubles with Go Pei Kee tomorrow against compatriot Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien, was delighted to get promoted into the main draw at the last minute.

“I am very happy to get the chance to play in both mixed and women’s doubles in this tournament, I really wish can perform well, and appreciate the chance that God gave me.

“Actually, this last few weeks, I didn’t even train with Pei Kee, so I didn’t think too much…I try to communicate with her and do our best on the court,” she said. – Bernama