The siblings from Bulgaria made it three victories in a row over Matsutomo and Takahashi with their 21-11 21-17 result today, making their way to the last eight where they face Korea’s Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan.
The Bulgarians mirrored the Japanese style of long defensive clearances, interspersed with opportunistic attack. Matsutomo and Takahashi grew increasingly frustrated, and by the second game their morale was visibly low.
“We worked more to talk to each other and today we were together, we didn’t feel apart even when we did easy mistakes,” said Stefani.
“We still have a lot to work; we dream a lot of reaching the finals and winning tournaments like this. But for us the main goal is to play better every round and if we can go to the final it will be perfect for us,” added her sister.
‘Daddies’ Win Thriller
In men’s doubles, veteran warhorses Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan showed they still possessed the mental and physical sharpness to come through long and tricky circumstances, as they survived six match points against China’s Ou Xuan Yi and Zhang Nan to prevail in a sensational match, 11-21 21-18 30-29.
The match was Ahsan’s first experience of a 30-point game in a fairly long career – and Setiawan’s second.
The Indonesians were blown away early, falling behind 0-9, but fought their way to a decider. It was touch-and-go till the end, with the Chinese having six match points and the Indonesians being denied four times, before they levelled at 29-all for their fifth match point, which they converted.
Ahsan hoped they could recover in time for the quarterfinals: “We just tried to keep focus. Our opponents were very tough today. We played more than one hour yesterday. We hope to recover well for tomorrow.”
Shi Yu Qi’s wretched luck with injuries continued, as he was forced to retire from today’s second round against Rasmus Gemke with a blister in his right toe. The third seed was making his way back from an ankle injury layoff.
Top seed Kento Momota was the beneficiary of another retirement, after his opening round opponent Liew Daren’s retirement yesterday. The defending champion was on court for a game and a half before his opponent Lee Zii Jia complained of an upset stomach.
Malaysia had better luck in the doubles, with Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik coming through in three tough games against Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto, and mixed doubles pairs Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying and Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Lai Jemie both progressing with straight games victories.