MALAYSIA OPEN 2012 QF – Chan/Goh biggest survivors of the day

As the two remaining women’s doubles pairs stepped out of the arena for the last time of the week, Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying kept local hopes high […]

As the two remaining women’s doubles pairs stepped out of the arena for the last time of the week, Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying kept local hopes high as they, along with Lee Chong Wei, managed to carry the Malaysian flag past the quarter-final barrier.

By Ooi Ee Lyn, live in Kuala Lumpur. Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Home ground support is always known to be one of the biggest reasons for players to score consecutive – and sometimes unexpected – victories at home. In Malaysia, like in many other countries, local spectators are infamous for the ability to ‘help’ their athletes in their games – which was why Lee Chong Wei was once known as the Home ground Champion.

Today, among all the matches that Malaysian players had starred in, the mixed doubles match between Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying and Singapore’s Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Vanessa Neo was perhaps the hottest one of all.

Chan / Goh had pulled an upset over Diju V / Jwala Gutta last night. This time, after taking the first set 21-13 and losing the second 14-21 to the Singaporeans, the drama began at the start of the decider as both pairs had their shares of ups and downs. It was so exciting that even Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei hurried over – from the other end of the arena, right after their victory over Nikolaenko / Sorokina – to witness the match between their potential semi-final opponents.

When it all came to 20-20, Danny Bawa / Vanessa Neo first grabbed hold of the match point three times in a row, but their opponents kept rising from behind to tie it up, again and again. Chan / Goh finally managed to steal a match point, making it 23-22 in their favour, only to see the same story repeating itself. After two shots at the deciding rallies, the Malaysians finally slammed the hammer at 27-25, as the stadium roared with thundering cheers from the crowd.

Behind the curtains, Chan and Goh were overjoyed and they began to throw out their very Malaysian-styled exclamations of astonishment. As soon as the both sat down to take a breath, Chan cried out, “Thrice! THRICE, you know! And I have only one heart!” in expression of the pressure he bared as they hit – and missed – the match point three times in the decider. He continued, “[At that moment] I just kept telling myself to never give up.”

Goh Liu Ying, after remaining silent for a period of time, finally said, “During the match, Peng Soon told me to just go to the front of the court and do whatever I was comfortable with. He said ‘if it passes you, don’t worry. I will take it for you.’ ” It was probably due to the trust the both shared, that they finally managed to overcome the attacks by the Singaporeans, after a match that proved to the spectators that the entrance tickets they bought were worth their price.

Chong Wei main favourite

Being the very down-to-earth Malaysian fans, the stadium became half empty in a flash, just as local hero Lee Chong Wei – the last Malaysian to show up – took the match from his best friend Taufik Hidayat, in straight sets.

Slightly awhile before that, Vivian Hoo / Woon Khe Wei retired from their match half way through the second set against China’s remaining women’s pair Bao Yixin / Zhong Qianxin, following Woon’s leg injury early in the first set.

On the other hand, Wang Shixian disposed of Juliane Schenk to secure a final’s spot for China as she will meet Wang Yihan in the intra-China matchup in the semi-finals tomorrow. Xu Chen / Ma Jin, in the mixed doubles, sent Lee Yong Dae / Ha Jung Eun packing as they signed their victory in straight sets of 21-18, 21-12.

Click here for complete results

Live feed here (Courtesy of BWF)

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About Ee-Lyn Ooi