KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — Malaysia's challenge at the Malaysian Open ended tonight, after the country's number one men's doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik was ousted in the semi-finals.

The sixth-ranked pair’s plans to spring a surprise against the 2021 world champion, Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi failed to materialise when they went down 23-21, 9-21 at the Axiata Arena here.

Despite giving a tough fight and leading 18-14 in the first set, they failed to seize their opportunity, while the second set saw the Japanese duo dominate the match from the start.

The defeat also saw Aaron-Wooi Yik, who is also the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, still failing to win their maiden Badminton World Federation (BWF) Tour title.

The only men’s doubles title (excluding team events) Aaron-Wooi Yik has ever won so far is the 2019 SEA Games gold medal in the Philippines, while they have also lost in the finals of six World Tours, including the 2019 All England and 2020 Thailand Open.

"We were leading during the crucial points in the first set, but the same problem always happens. We have to identify why it happened and address it," Aaron told reporters.

They advanced to the semi-finals after beating Indonesian veteran pair Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan 21-13, 20-22, 21-19 yesterday.

Earlier, another national men's doubles pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani lost 14-21, 12-21 to world number seven Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto from Indonesia.

The last time Malaysia won the men's doubles title at the Malaysian Open was in the 2014 edition when Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah emerged champions. — Bernama