French Open: ‘Ridiculous’ Fighting Spirit Rewarded

Thinaah Muralitharan lauded partner Pearly Tan’s ‘ridiculous’ fighting spirit after the Malaysians stormed into their first HSBC BWF World Tour Super 750 final at YONEX French Open 2022.

Playing Lee So Hee and Baek Ha Na, runners-up in Denmark last week, the world No.11s were in control from start to finish to complete the job 21-13 21-17.

But it was only a few weeks ago their presence at the European tournaments seemed doubtful as Tan was recovering from an injury that ended their Japan Open campaign in September.

“Our preparations leading up to Denmark and France were dominated by rehab and physio sessions. Initially, we weren’t sure we’d make these tournaments,” revealed Muralitharan.

“But Pearly’s fighting spirit to get back on court, it was ridiculous. When I saw that, I had no doubt we’d be back in Europe. After what she went through, to come back here a month later and perform this well, proud of her.”

Muralitharan and Tan acknowledge the fans at the end of their match.

Tan said they have surprised themselves with their deep run in Paris.

“With the injury, it was so close. Happy with this outcome,” she said.

Their final would be against first-time opponents – twice world champions Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara. The fourth seeds booked their place in the title match with a 21-14 25-23 win over compatriots Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota.

“We will get a good rest and start planning for the final. The goal is to focus on every point and not waste any chances,” said Tan.

“It’s going to be on us to try and not get too excited and carried away, as well as managing our own mindset to ensure we execute the plan well. If we do that, the results will come naturally. “

Asked if they can’t wait to go out again and finish the job with momentum on their side, Muralitharan jokingly replied: “No, we need the rest!”

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