Malaysia Open: Hong Kong hopes rest with Tse Ying-suet, Tang Chun-man after exits for Angus Ng and Lee Cheuk-yiu
- Mixed doubles duo Tang and Tse face a huge test against top seeds after cruising into quarter-finals on Thursday
- Lee and Ng make superb starts before succumbing to defeats by world Nos 1 and 2 Viktor Axelsen and Kento Momota
Hong Kong’s Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet will face a mammoth task against top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand on Friday, after cruising into the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Open.
The sixth seeds beat Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas Mentari of Indonesia 21-13, 21-10 in the second round of the mixed doubles on Thursday, and will need to be at their very best if they want to progress further in the US$675,000 tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
The two teams have met five times before, with Tang and Tse only taking one win from the Thai pairing when they prevailed in the quarter-finals of the 2018 Asian Games with a two-game win.
But more recently, the Thai combination beat the Hongkongers at last year’s World Championships and World Tour finals.
Hong Kong head coach Tim He Yiming is still expecting a close encounter, however.
“We are the underdogs on paper, but the Thai pair were eliminated in the first round of the previous two tournaments in Indonesia earlier this month [in June], so they are not unbeatable,” He said.
“I hope Man and Suet fight to the best of their abilities – it is the best way to defeat their opponents.”
In the second round of the men’s singles on Thursday, both Angus Ng Ka-long and Lee Cheuk-yiu – Hong Kong’s Nos 1 and 2 respectively – fell to defeat against the world’s top two players, Viktor Axelsen and Kento Momota.
World No 15 Lee – who took part in a training camp run by Axelsen in Dubai last month – got off to an incredible start by taking the opening game. But the Danish world No 1 came back strongly to seal a 15-21, 21-6, 21-13 victory.
“I was very happy that Viktor invited me and I enjoyed it,” the 25-year-old Lee told the World Badminton Federation after he upset world champion Loh Kean Yew – whom he shared a flat with in Dubai – in the first round.
“It was a good environment. The focus there was on how we play during the match, so I felt it was very good training.”
World No 13 Ng also took the first set in his match against Japan’s Momota, but he eventually succumbed to a 11-21, 21-8, 21-18 defeat.