KUALA LUMPUR: Shuttlers Koo Kien Keat-Ng Hui Lin pulled off a major upset in the second round of the mixed doubles competition at the Hong Kong Open yesterday to show that there is a future for Malaysia in this event.
The duo took only 29 minutes to eliminate third seeds and world number four Anthony Clark-Donna Kellogg of England 21-18, 21-18 to qualify for their first quarter-finals in an international Open tournament. In their previous two international tournaments at the China Masters last August and in the Macau Open the following month, they bowed out in the second round.
Kien Keat-Hui Lin, who are unseeded, will take on China’s Zheng Bo-Ma Jin today for a place in the semi-finals.
The 18-year-old Hui Lin was thrilled over their breakthrough win.
“This is the first time in my career in the mixed doubles that I have beaten such a high-ranked pair. I am happy with the way both of us played today,” said Hui Lin in a telephone interview.
“Our combination is getting better but there is still room for improvement. We hope to give another good showing against the Chinese pair tomorrow.”
National coach Rexy Mainaky was happy that Kien Keat-Hui Lin were showing steady progress.
“Their performances thus far have been really good. Hui Lin is now getting more comfortable in her partnership with Koo. Their win today showed that they are inching closer to a higher level of play in the mixed doubles,” said Rexy.
Kien Keat also checked into the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles with Tan Boon Heong but Rexy was far from impressed with their performance.
The fifth seeds toiled for 46 minutes to beat England’s Chris Adcock-Robert Blair 18-21, 21-19, 21-16 to set up a match today against top seeds and Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan.
“Koo and Tan did not really play that well. They were eager to win quickly and made many unforced errors. They have to cut down on their mistakes against Markis and Hendra,” said Rexy.
The Malaysians have lost twice this year to the Indonesian world number one — at the Beijing Olympics and French Open.
Markis-Hendra made it to the last eight with a 21-15, 21-17 win over Malaysian veterans Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah.
The other Malaysians to feature in today’s quarter-finals matches are the men’s pairs of Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng and the women’s combination of Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty.
Zakry-Fairuzizuan will take on South Koreans Cho Gun-woo-Yoo Yeon-seong while Chong Ming-Choon Eng face Anthony Clark-Nathan Robertson of England. As for Eei Hui-Pei Tty, they will be up against Denmark’s Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Lena Frier Kristiansen.
Second round results
Men’s singles: Boonsak Ponsana (Tha) bt Marc Zwiebler (Ger) 21-14, 21-6; Arvind Bhat (Ind) bt Chan Yan Kit (Hkg) 21-14, 21-19; Chen Jin (Chn) bt Chetan Anand (Ind) 21-11, 21-12; Gong Weijie (Chn) bt Peter Gade-Christensen (Den) 21-17, 23-25, 21-18; Taufik Hidayat (Ina) bt Lu Yi (Chn) 21-16, 21-19; Wong Wing Ki (Hkg) bt Eric Pang (Ned) 21-11, 21-9; Park Sung-hwan (Kor) bt Hong Ji-hoon (Kor) 21-7, 21-14; Lin Dan (Chn) bt Andre Kurniawan Tedjono (Ina) 21-12, 21-14.
Men’s doubles: Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah (Mas) 21-15, 21-17; Cho Gun-woo-Yoo Yeon-seong (Kor) bt Mohd Razif Abdul Latif-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) 21-10, 21-16; Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (Mas) bt Chris Adcock-Robert Blair (Eng) 18-21, 21-19, 21-16; Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari (Mas) bt Chan Peng Soon-Lim Khim Wah (Mas) 21-19, 21-18;
Guo Zhengdong-Xu Chen (Chn) bt Han Sang-hoon-Shin Baek-cheol (Kor) 21-19, 21-19; Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng (Mas) bt Hu Chung-shien-Tsai Chia-hsin (Tpe) 20-22, 21-12, 21-14; Anthony Clark-Nathan Robertson (Eng) bt Shuichi Sakamoto-Shintaro Ikeda (Jpn) 21-17, 21-10; Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung (Kor) bt Hoon Thien How-Ong Soon Hock (Mas) 21-15, 21-15.
* Matches involving Malaysians in other events
Women’s singles: Zhou Mi (Hkg) bt Julia Wong 21-7, 21-15.
Women’s doubles: Vita Marissa-Lilyanan Natsir (Ina) bt Sabrina Chong-Woon Khe Wei 21-15, 16-21, 21-13; Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty bt Jenny Wallwork-Gabrielle White (Eng) 21-18, 21-5.
Mixed doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Ng Hui Lin bt Anthony Clark-Donna Kellogg (Eng) 21-18, 21-18; Lee Yong-dae-Lee Hyo-jung (Kor) bt Wong Pei Tty-Lim Khim Wah 23-21, 21-9.