Thailand’s women’s singles sixth seed Ratchanok Intanon sailed into the quarter-finals of the ongoing Malaysia Masters 2019 with a commanding 21-12, 21-10 win over the 49th ranked Chloe Birch in Kuala Lumpur. The win set up the defending champion against the top seed and World No. 1 in a rematch of their highly thrilling final from a year ago.
Intanon held her nerves to upset Tai in that match, with a 24-22 score in the third game. The former world champion has been impressive so far at this tournament and has not dropped a game so far in two matches.
She needs to continue playing with such confidence if she wants a repeat of the result from 12 months ago. Tai is still trying her best to find her rhythm after an injury break and she conceded a game in her 19-21, 21-12, 21-10 victory over the 21st ranked Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt in the second round.
Malaysia’s two-time junior world champion Goh Jin Wei made it through to the quarters as well. A day after stunning the third seed Akane Yamaguchi, the 18-year-old backed it up with a commanding 21-13, 21-10 win over China’s Zhang Yiman.
Ginting, Lee Zii Jia progress in men’s singles
In men’s singles, sixth seed and China Open champion Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia ended the run of former Commonwealth Games winner Parupalli Kashyap 21-17, 25-23 to set up a quarter-final showdown with third seed Chen Long. The Olympic champion beat the Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan Christie 21-15, 21-18.
Two Malaysians made it to the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Masters as well. Qualifier Lee Zii Jia beat Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto 21-15, 21-17. The World No. 9 had shown guts to edge the World No. 1 Kento Momota in a tight three-game match a day earlier.
Daren Liew also made it to the quarter-finals, courtesy of a 21-18, 21-7 victory over Danish qualifier Victor Svendsen.
The numero uno men’s doubles pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo advanced when Kittinupong Kedren and Dechapol Puavaranukroh retired at 16-21, 3-3. Malaysia’s Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong upset the sixth-seeded Indonesians Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-19, 24-22.
There was no stopping the fourth-seeded Indonesian women’s doubles pair of Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu who beat Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-14, 21-15.
In mixed doubles, the second seeds Puavaranukroh and Taerattanachai were made to work hard for the win. The Thai dropped the second game but managed to rebound for a 21-9, 19-21, 21-15 win over Germans Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich.
(Image credits: bwfbadminton.com)