KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 — Four Malaysian pairs brought cheers to local fans after clearing the opening round of the Malaysia Masters 2023 in Axiata Arena, here, today.

National top men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik staved off a fierce challenge from the 2023 SEA Games champions, Pramudya Kusumawardana-Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan of Indonesia in 21-18, 10-21, 23-21 in a tight contest that lasted 55 minutes.

Choi Sol Gyu-Kim Won Ho await Aaron-Wooi Yik in the second round after the South Koreans subdued Christo Popov-Toma Junior Popov of France, 24-22, 21-10, in the other first-round tie.

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Commenting on the match, Wooi Yik admitted that they lost focus in the second game after the Indonesians changed their tactics which allowed their opponents to drag the game into the decider.

“In the second set, we lost points too quickly and were not comfortable with their game, it was a bit chaotic and anxious but in the third game even though we made a lot of mistakes we maintained our nerve and did not give easy points to the opponents,” he told reporters at the mixed zone, here.

On the other hand, Malaysia’s men’s doubles professional pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi held off Chinese pair, Ren Xiang Yu-Tan Qiang, 21-16, 21-18 to book a second-round berth on Thursday.

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The sixth-seeded pair will face Taiwanese duo, Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han who defeated Ruben Jille-Ties Van Der Lecq of the Netherlands, 21-17, 21-15.

Yew Sin was pleased that their gameplay worked out really well today en route to oust the Chinese duo while Ee Yi said they will not take lightly the challenge from Ching Yao-Po Han next although the Malaysians trounced them in the third group match of the Sudirman Cup, 21-8, 23-21, last week.

In the meantime, unseeded pair Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun pulled off an upset by eliminating seventh seed pair from Denmark, Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, 25-23, 21-16 and will play Alexander Dunn-Adam Hall of Scotland or Malaysia’s Tan Kian Meng-Tan Wee Kiong, in the second round.

Meanwhile, national women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah got off their campaign on the right footing as they knocked out Bulgarian twins Gabriela Stoeva-Stefani Stoeva in straight sets, 21-17, 21-15

The world number 11 pair will next square off against Japanese Rena Miyaura-Ayako Sakuramoto who beat England’s pair Chloe Birch-Lauren Smith, 21-12, 21-8, in the other game.

When met after the match, Pearly was ecstatic to exact revenge on the Stoeva sisters, who stunned them 19-21, 14-21, in the early round of the Malaysia Open 2023, in January and she hoped to keep their winning momentum against Japanese pair next.

However, women’s doubles professional pair Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien’s journey in the tournament was cut short as they failed to advance to the next round, losing to Maiken Fruergaard-Sara Thygesen of Denmark, 13-21, 18-21. — Bernama