The Indonesians, who missed a match point of their own in the second game, stayed in the hunt facing down two match points, prevailing in the 90-minute marathon, 21-17 20-22 23-21.
“We just had to keep fighting. We had ups and downs last year, and we wanted to come back to the top level. We wanted to improve our performance. That’s why we want to appreciate every win. They had some good title wins last year, so we’re happy to beat them. This win was important for our confidence,” said Polii.
The Malaysians, whose best performance last year was a runners-up finish at this event, withstood the challenge of the Thailand Open champions, 21-15 18-21 21-15. Rankireddy and Shetty looked to have regained the initiative by the second game, with Rankireddy’s powerful hits going unanswered. However, Ong and Teo changed the pattern of the exchanges, cutting down on the lifts and moving their opponents around. The Indians struggled with their rhythm and fell in a clutch of errors. It was an important morale-boosting win for the Malaysians, who are competing as independent players.
“We’re very happy because we could feel the support from the fans,” said Teo. “They were with us all the way. We didn’t feel any pressure.”
In the top half of the draw, fifth seeds Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto cruised past Mathias Boe/Mads Conrad-Petersen 21-17 21-14, and will next take on Hong Kong Open champions Choi Solgyu/Seo Seung Jae, who had to work harder to beat He Ji Ting/Tan Qiang. The Koreans prevailed 17-21 21-18 21-15.
Also making their way into round two were Lee Yong Dae/Kim Gi Jung, who beat Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han 21-18 21-18. The Koreans are poised for an interesting second round where they face fourth seeds Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda.