Thrilling Win for Malaysians – India Open: Day 5

Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean fought back from the brink and stepped up to within one win of their career’s biggest title as they made the final of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2019 today.

The Malaysian women’s doubles duo had never previously been in the final of tournament of this level (Chow had won the Commonwealth Games gold with a different partner, Vivian Hoo). Today the third seeds kept their nerve in a thrilling 73-minute encounter against Thailand’s Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai, 18-21 21-19 21-19.

Lee Yang (front) and Wang Chi Lin are in their third straight final.

Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin made their third straight final in men’s doubles as they upset top seeds Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Denmark) 21-12 21-18. Lee/Wang, runners-up at the Swiss Open and winners at the Orleans Masters, are in contention for their biggest victory as a pair.

“It is not easy but we are happy to win today. It is our first Super 500 final,” said Wang. “We were relaxed and did our best. He told me not to think too much and just focus on the game. We just want to keep our minds calm and relax and enjoy the match tomorrow.”

Match of the Day

The Malaysians pulled off a victory from the jaws of defeat. Having lost the first game and trailing 14-19, Chow and Lee stunned the Thais with a seven-point sequence that gave them the second game.

Things were neck-and-neck in the third, until the Malaysians dashed ahead from 18-all to take three of the next four points.

India’s Kidambi Srikanth also won a closely-contested men’s singles semifinal over China’s Huang Yuxiang, 16-21 21-14 21-19 to keep Indian interest alive on finals day.

Kidambi trailed in the decider before overhauling his opponent from 16-18 down.

Other Results

  • The men’s singles final will be a clash between 2015 champion Kidambi and 2017 winner Viktor Axelsen, after the Dane powered past Kidambi’s compatriot Parupalli Kashyap 21-11 21-17.
  • The home crowd suffered another setback with favourite Pusarla V Sindhu going down to China’s He Bingjiao 23-21 21-18. The women’s singles final will feature He Bingjiao versus 2016 champion Ratchanok Intanon, who beat Han Yue 21-15 19-21 21-18.
  • Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti beat Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yang/Yang Ching Tun to set up a showdown with top seeds Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping in mixed doubles. 
Viktor Axelsen will be looking to reclaim the title that he won in 2017.

Talking point

“We have played them five times and we have won and lost as well. Recently, we lost to them in Indonesia. We were leading and in the second game we missed out and lost the game. This time we got back the focus and our strategy and communication helped us,” said Chow Mei Kuan.

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