TOYOTA Thailand Open: Malaysian Shock for Sixth Seeds

Playing only their second top-tier event, Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharan produced a sensational performance here at the TOYOTA Thailand Open in taking down sixth seeds Chang Ye Na and Kim Hye Rin.

Even in the heat of a roller-coaster ride in the third, the Malaysians kept up their energy and quality of play, resisting everything the Koreans threw at them to emerge victorious. Not even the loss of three match points dented their stubbornness, as the eventually converted a fourth to win 16-21 21-15 27-25.

Muralitharan said the experience of playing her first HSBC BWF World Tour Super 1000 event last week had proved vital.

“Last week was our first Super 1000 event, so we learned our lessons. We tried to do better and we were well prepared. Before the game we didn’t think too much; we weren’t expected to win, so we just wanted to play our game and that helped us put in our best performance.”

The Koreans were 20-18 up in the third and had two more match points, but each time Tan and Muralitharan defended and attacked with gusto. They particularly handled Kim Hye Rin’s attack well, returning her smashes to the deep and keeping the rallies going.

“Today what worked for us was that we believed in each other. It’s good for us but I think we can do better,” said Tan. “In the closing stages I just kept telling myself to calm down. Talking to each other helped a lot.”

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