MALAYSIA MASTERS – Upsets begin in earnest on Day 2

Malaysians and Koreans figured in the first big upsets at the Malaysia Masters, beginning with local youngsters Man/Tan offing the 5th seeds Jordan/Oktavianti. By Don Hearn, Badzine correspondent live in […]

Malaysians and Koreans figured in the first big upsets at the , beginning with local youngsters Man/Tan offing the 5th seeds Jordan/Oktavianti.

By Don Hearn, Badzine correspondent live in Kuala Lumpur.  Photos: Mark Phelan / Badmintonphoto (live)

Local shuttlers were involved in the first two upsets of the week, but in opposite ways.  The TV court became the site of a bizarre upset by two local youngsters.

Fans of the visiting Indonesian players had been entertained by a decisive and fully anticipated win by men’s doubles world #1 Gideon/Sukamuljo but while they were ready for a follow-up win by the top Indonesian mixed pair, it was the local supporters who really got something to cheer about.

Praveen Jordan’s normally devastating smash barely made an appearance as he and Melati Daeva Oktavianti were totally outclassed by youngsters Man Wei Chong and Pearly Tan (pictured).  The two Malaysians, 20 and 19 respectively, often had the Indonesians early wrong-footed or scrambling, particularly in the second game, as they romped to a 21-18, 21-13 victory.

After the match, Man admitted that the pair never practice together and instead just come together each time they enter a tournament.  They are currently ranked 89th in the world, after a season where they reached 3 International Challenge semis, including one final.

After Olympic silver medallists Chan/Goh won their all-Malaysian opener handily, it was time for the second upset of the day, and it was one that would hit the Malaysian team in the opposite way.  World #26 Goh Sze Fei / Nur Izzuddin went down in straight games to former world #2 Kim Sa Rang and his new partner Kim Duk Young (pictured left).

The Koreans dominated the first game.  The scoreline only looks respectable because after a 19-6 lead, the two Kims seemed to be just waiting for the sure win and the Malaysians crept up with an 8-1 run.  The second was much closer and the Koreans only succeeded in pulling away at the very end.  Malaysia still has two pairs booked for the second round, both having won their opening matches on Tuesday.

One couple up, one couple down

As Kim Sa Rang was polishing off his upset on Court 1, his wife Eom Hye Won was over on Court 4, with her hands full attempting to secure her first ever win over world #12 Chris and Gabrielle Adcock (pictured below).

Eom Hye Won had never beaten the Adcocks before, losing to them with two different partners.  Her first encounter partnering (pictured) against them looked as if it might go the same way.  The English couple put a lot of pressure on her, with Mrs. Adcock putting on a lot of pressure at the net and Mr. Adcock directing powerful smashes her way.

The Koreans did manage to briefly take the lead late in the opening game but it slipped away as the Europeans took it 22-20.  The second game was a little the opposite as the Koreans let go of a promising lead but trailing 17-19, they took four straight points to force the decider.

The final game was neck-and-neck until the Koreans finally found their comfort zone after the end change and they ran away with it.  Eom was patient and consistent at the net and Ko made his attacking opportunities count and soon the English players found themselves with no answers.

“It feels really good to win that match,” said Eom Hye Won hoarsely.  Normally a woman of few words, this time as she coughed painfully, her partner explained she had contracted a nasty cold.

Of their change in fortunes, Ko Sung Hyun said, “In the first game, we were sort of losing the battle at the net and that left us having to defend too much.  From the second game, we were doing better at the net and we could play an attacking game so I think that’s what turned it around for us.

“I did have a problem today with errors on serve.  In any case, even if you make an error, you have to get beyond it and serve better after that so I tried not to think about it.  Chris was serving well today and mixing in some drive serves.  A lot of players are doing that these days so we just have to be prepared to get onto the return fast.”

On their prospects for advancing with Eom ill, Ko said, “It’s important to keep up our fitness so she’s just going to have to rest up.”

As it turns out, both Eom and her new husband will have to face Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yang in the second round.  Already waiting in the men’s doubles draw after winning with Wang Chi Lin on Tuesday, Lee won in mixed doubles after the Koreans beat the Adcocks.  Lee and Yang Ching Tun won narrowly over Swiss Open runners-up Rinov Rivaldy / Pitha Haningtyas Mentari.

Man and Tan will face another Indonesian pair in the second round.  They’ll play former Thailand Open champions Hafiz Faizal / Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.

Click here for complete Day 2 results

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @