24/05/2024 09:23 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 (Bernama) -- Rising national men’s doubles pair Wan Muhammad Arif Shaharuddin Wan Junaidi-Yap Roy King continued their giant-killing act to check into the 2024 Malaysia Masters semi-finals, while more experienced pairs failed to live up to expectations at the Axiata Arena here today.

The world number 47 pair beat Denmark's world number 18, Rasmus Kjaer-Frederik Sogaard, 21-18, 14-21, 21-18 in a dramatic quarter-final backed by a vociferous crowd to reach their first Super 500 tournament semi-finals.

However, the 2023 Nantes International Challenge winners didn’t progress without giving some nerve-wracking moments for the fans, letting Kjaer-Sogaard claw back from trailing 18-8 in the deciding set, before finally confirming the victory.

Buoyed by their quarter-final outing at the Thailand Open last week, Wan Muhammad Arif-Roy King are set to face another Danish challenge in the last four stage against second seeds Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, who beat another Malaysian pair, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Mohd Rumsani, 21-19, 21-17.

The young pair previously had defeated Xie Hao Nan-Zeng Wei Han of China in the first round and stunned world number 12 Lee Jhe Huei-Yang Po Hsuan of Taiwan 13-21, 21-15, 21-18 in the second round yesterday.

Speaking to reporters after the match, the duo promised to deliver another stunning performance tomorrow, with their eyes on the title.

“We lost focus at key points (in the third set), maybe because we wanted to win so much, but fortunately we managed to break their momentum. We hope to play better tomorrow and not repeat the same mistakes.

“Initially, we aimed for the quarter-finals, but now that we’ve reached the semi-finals, we will try to become champions, especially with the strong support of the fans here,” said Wan Muhammad Arif.

Wan Muhammad Arif-Roy King will be Malaysia’s sole representative in the men’s doubles event, as other pairs were shown the exit, including last edition’s runners-up Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun, who lost to third seeds He Jing Ting-Ren Xiang Yu of China 21-18, 21-16.

The most disappointing result was from top seeds Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, who went down 21-11, 19-21, 19-21 to South Korean pair Jin Yong-Naa Sung Seung.

“I think we hesitated a lot in the second and third sets, giving them opportunities. We need to avoid repeating these mistakes in future tournaments,” Aaron said after the match.

The results mean that from nine Malaysian representatives in the quarter-finals, only Wan Muhammad Arif-Roy King, men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia, and women’s doubles Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah managed to sneak into the semi-finals.





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