WONG Mew Choo provided the biggest thrill for Malaysia in third round action of the World Championships at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
She defied overwhelming odds to become the first Malaysian woman to reach the singles quarter-finals of the championships. And for a player who needed jabs to ease the pain on her knee, Mew Choo did it in stunning fashion.
She sent world number two and two-time world champion Xie Xingfang of China packing, winning 21-10, 21-8.
The unexpected first-ever win over the defending champion brought back joy to the Malaysian fans, who were earlier stunned into silence with the defeat of Lee Chong Wei by Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro on the same court.
It was Mew Choo’s first win over a top Chinese player. She had beaten two Chinese back-up players previously – Jiang Yangjio at last year’s China Open and Lu Lan at this year’s All-England.
It’s OK: China’s Lin Dan consoles his girlfriend Xie Xingfang after she lost to Malaysia’s Wong Mew Choo yesterday. – AP
The world number 11 will have a match today against another Chinese, rising star Zhu Lin, for a place in the semi-finals.
The 24-year-old Mew Choo remained modest after chalking up the great win over Xingfang.
“Yes, I am happy with the win but the competition is not over yet. I will be playing against another strong player - Zhu Lin. She is very skilful and it is not going to be easy,” she said.
Mew Choo added that she was under no pressure at all against Xingfang and just had to concentrate on giving her best.
“I played against Xingfang in the Indonesian Open and gave her a good fight. But this time, she was unable to cope with the strong draught in the stadium and I had better control. She made the mistakes and seemed nervous,” said Mew Choo.
“For me, I kept my mind on the task. I have been undergoing treatment for my knee problem. There was pain on the knee but I just refused to let it bother me today.”
Mew Choo had to skip most of the international tournaments after suffering the injury in the Sudirman Cup (world mixed team) championships in Glasgow in June.
Chinese chief coach Li Yongbo said: “My player came here to win but she failed to do so. The crowd played a big part in the Malaysian’s win today. Besides, Xingfang was not feeling well.”
(source: The star online)