Sunday, August 14

Malaysia Open: Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin smash their way to semis

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Nur Izzuddin (left) and Goh Sze Fei celebrate victory after beating Chinese men’s doubles players Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi in the quarterfinals of the Petronas Malaysian Open 2022 at Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil, July 1, 2022. – Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (July 1): National men’s doubles pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani delivered a superb performance today to beat their Chinese opponents and march into the semi-finals of the 2022 Malaysia Open.

The world number 12 subdued newly crowned Indonesia Open champions Liu Yu Chen-Ou Xuan Yi in a nearly packed Axiata Arena here.

In a repeat of the 2022 German Open final which the Malaysians won, Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin again proved too strong for the Chinese pair, using their fast attacking play to race to a commanding lead at 13-5, before closing out the game 21-11.

It was a tight contest in the next game, as both pairs traded points until 20-20 before a drop shot by Sze Fei sealed the match for them at 22-20.

The unseeded Malaysian duo will be pitted against either professional Malaysian pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi or sixth seeds Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto in the semi-finals tomorrow.

Sze Fei, when met after the match, said the final game was nerve-wracking but the deafening cheers from the fans motivated them to prevent the Chinese duo from forcing the match into rubber game.

“Really hard to kill them in the second game, but we managed to be more patient and avoided making silly mistakes,” he said.

Sze Fei said the win against the world number 45 in the 2022 German Open final last March had given them the confidence to maintain a clean head-to-head record, which stands at 2-0 now.

Nur Izzuddin admitted that the withdrawal of their second-round opponents, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty of India, due to an injury issue yesterday had helped them to get a good rest and be more prepared for today’s action.

The last time a Malaysian pair reached the semi-finals was in the 2014 edition through Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah, who eventually emerged champions after beating China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei 21-19, 21-18 in the final. – Bernama