ODENSE (Denmark): It was a huge sigh of relief for mixed pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying after they cleared their first round of the Denmark Open on Tuesday.
The world No. 5 pair had been going through a bad patch, losing in the first round of the World Championships and the Japan Open, both times to lower-ranked opponents.
And it didn’t look like it would get any better as they struggled against world No. 8 Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thoungthongkam of Thailand in the first round.
But despite trailing 9-15 in the rubber game, Peng Soon-Liu Ying staged a massive comeback to win 19-21, 21-18, 21-19.
The cheerful Peng Soon was simply relieved to have survived their first test.
“It was such a stressful match. We put so much pressure on ourselves,” said Peng Soon.
“I think we really got lucky in the end and we’re just happy not to lose in the first round.
“We only play our second round match on Thursday and having a day’s break will be really important for us to rest ... mentally.”
Peng Soon-Liu Ying will next face South Korea’s Kim Ki-jung-Kim So-young for a place in the quarter-finals.
The newly-formed Ki-jung-So-young partnership were also stretched to three games before beating Hong Kong’s Chan Yun Lung-Tse Ying Suet 22-24, 21-13, 21-18.
The major upset in mixed doubles came courtesy of home pair Anders Kristiansen-Julie Houmann who gave the Danish crowd much cheer by stunning sixth seeds Mohd Rijal-Debby Susanto of Indonesia 21-15, 21-15.
Olympic silver medallists and world championships runners-up Xu Chen-Ma Jin of China also nearly checked out early against Poland’s Robert Mateusiak-Agnieszka Wojtkowska.
The second seeds however rallied to win 16-21, 21-16, 21-15.
There were no problems however for top seeds Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei and Indonesian third seeds Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir, who defeated Kim Astrup Sorensen-Maria Helsbol of Denmark and Liu Cheng-Bao Yixin of China respectively.