PETALING JAYA: Mixed doubles badminton pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, playing their first tournament as an independent pair, continued their smashing run by checking into the semi-finals of the Swiss Open in Basel.
The world No. 13, who parted ways with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) last month, passed through a tough challenge by beating India’s world No. 19 S. Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa 21-17,16-21,21-18 on Friday.
Fourth seeds Kian Meng-Pei Jing, who are hoping to snatch a spot in the Tokyo Olympics in July, will take on French pair and sixth seeds Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrus in the semi-finals later Saturday (March 6).
World No. 11 Gicquel-Delrue prevented an all-Malaysian semi-final affair by beating fourth seeds Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie 14-21,21-14,21-19.
It also turned out to be a disappointing outing in Basel for top seeds Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying after the duo crashed out in the quarter-finals.
The 2016 Rio Olympic silver medallists failed to live up to their top billing as they succumbed 21-14,19-21,15-21 to Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje of Denmark in 67 minutes.
Malaysia are at least assured of a finalist on Sunday with women’s doubles pairings Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah and Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean winning their respective quarter-finals matches.
Pearly-Thinaah beat Amalie Magelund-Freja Ravn of Denmark 21-19,21-10 while Mei Kuan-Meng Yean overcame Rachel Honderich-Kristen Tsai of Canada 22-20,21-16.
In the men’s singles, second seed Lee Zii Jia continued his march into the last four by beating India’s Sai Praneeth 21-14,21-17.
Zii Jia, who is seeking to regain his confidence after a series of unimpressive runs during the BWF World Tour events in Bangkok in January, sets up an intriguing fight against Thailand’s No. 1 player Kunlavut Vitidsarn.
The Thai is only 19 but enters the professional badminton stage as a three-time world junior champion.
Kunlavut defeated Ajay Jayaram of India 21-9,21-6 in the last eight.
National No. 1 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik found themselves the only surviving Malaysian pair in the men’s doubles competition after beating world junior champions Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin of Indonesia 21-18,9-21,21-16.
Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong’s impressive campaign in Basel came to an end as they put up a gallant fight before going down 17-21,21-16,13-21 to Danes Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.
India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty stopped Tokyo Olympic hopeful Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi 12-21,21-19,21-12 in another quarter-final match.
Men’s singles: Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Shesar Hiren Rhustavito (Ina) 21-17,21-12; Lee Zii Jia (Mas) bt Sai Praneeth (Ind) 21-14,21-17; Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Tha) bt Ajay Jayaram (Ind) 21-9,21-6;
K. Srikanth (Ind) bt Kantaphon Wangcharoen (Tha) 21-19,21-15.
Men’s doubles: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas) bt Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin (Ina) 21-18,9-21,21-16; Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den) bt Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong (Mas) 21-17,16-21,21-13;
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty (Ind) bt Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Mas) 12-21,21-19,21-12; Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel (Ger) bt Nipitphon Phuangphuapet-Tanupat Viriyangkura (Tha) 21-14,18-21,21-9.
Women’s singles: Carolina Marin (Spa) bt Zhang Beiwen (US) 21-13,21-13; P.V. Sindhu (Ind) bt
Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) 21-16,23-21; Mia Blichfeldt (Den) bt Phittayaporn Chaiwan (Tha) 21-10,21-7; Pornpawee Chochuwong-Line Christophersen (Den) 21-11,21-15.
Women’s doubles: Gabriela Stoeva-Stefani Stoeva (Bul) bt Maiken Fruergaard-Sara Thygesen (Den) 21-18,21-14; Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha) bt Selena Piek-Cheryl Seien (Ned) 21-19,21-13;
Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (Mas) bt Amalie Magelund-Freja Ravn (Den) 21-19,21-10; Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (Mas) bt Rachel Honderich-Kristen Tsai (Can) 22-20,21-16.
Mixed doubles: Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje (Den) bt Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 14-21,21-19,21-15; Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (Mas) bt Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa (Ind) 21-17,16-21,21-18; Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith (Eng) bt Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich (Ger) 14-21,21-14,21-10; Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue (Fra) bt Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Jemie Lai (Mas) 14-21,21-14,21-19.