KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik booked their spot in the Olympic men’s doubles semi-finals with a scintillating straight sets win over favourites and World No. 1 pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya from Indonesia.
The duo needed only 33 minutes to beat them.
After winning the first set 21-14 in 13 minutes, the world No. 9 pair had a tougher time in the second set. After racing to a 16-12 lead they lost four points in a row before winning their next point to make it 17-16.
However, from then on, Chia and Soh never made a mistake and eventually won it 21-17 in 21 minutes to take the second set and book their first ever semi-finals appearance at an Olympic games.
The duo were relentless in their attacks from start to finish, which seemed to be the strategy.
They never let the Indonesian pair settle into their groove with constant smashes and deliberately keeping the shuttlecock low to not allow their opponents to launch a counterattack.
The strategy paid dividends when Fernaldi Gideon appeared to cave under their attacks, resulting in several unforced errors, taking the Malaysians into an 11-7 lead in a hotly contested second set.
The Indonesians fought back to draw level, but in the end, the Malaysians prevailed.
Aaron and Wooi Yik’s opponents in the semifinals are China’s world No. 6 ranked pair, Liu Yu Chen-Li Jun Hui, at 2.30pm tomorrow.
The Chinese duo were locked in an epic one-hour battle against Danish world No. 12 pairing, Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, before eventually prevailing 12-21, 21-14, 21-19.
The Malaysians have lost all five of their previous meetings against the Chinese, the latest being the quarterfinals of the 2019 Hong Kong Open losing a tight battle 21-17, 19-21, 21-23.