Malaysia Open: Super Singaporeans March On

The PETRONAS Malaysia Open 2024 will linger long in the memories of Terry Hee Yong Kai and his on and off court partner Jessica Tan Wei Han.

First, they defeated two higher-ranked mixed pairs in Ye Hong Wei/Lee Chia Hsin and Supak Jomkoh/Supissara Paewsampran to place themselves among the quarterfinalists.

Today, they qualified for their maiden Super 1000 semifinal by seeing off sixth seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-16 21-19. It was their first win in five meetings against the Thais.

“I still can’t believe what we did. Although we really wanted it, we didn’t expect to progress,” admitted Tan post-match. “Taking the first game worked to our advantage, it put them under pressure as they had to win the second.”

Husband Hee added: “We were the underdogs but we just gave our hundred and ten per cent to fight and give them a hard time.

“It was a very tiring battle, both ends were difficult. The shuttle got slower as the match went on. We are happy to be in the semis, we will continue doing our best.”

The pre-match instruction from their coach was quite simply “learn not to die” and Tan took it literally, flinging herself around the court in what turned out to be a convincing display of top class defensive ability; the way the match point was secured epitomising her sometimes superhuman efforts.

“She deserves credit for the way she defended,” praised Hee. “They found us tough to crack. Right at the end, perhaps there was some luck involved but that’s what sometimes makes the difference.”

It was also a surprise end of the road for two other fancied pairs later in the day.

Top seeds Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong, who dominated the last four editions, lost to Kim Won Ho/Jeong Na Eun 11-21 21-18 17-21. The defeat was the first for the world No.1s since their tournament debut as a tandem in 2018. Kim/Jeong also ended the Chinese duo’s run of six straight championships, which includes two Malaysia Masters, at the Axiata Arena.

The last match of the morning session saw world champions Seo Seung Jae/Chae Yu Jung exit 21-19 21-14 at the hands of Jiang Zhen Bang/Wei Ya Xin.

→ Results (Day 4)

→ Order of play (Day 5)


“I’m happy with how I played. I’m not in pain, I played some good rallies and I didn’t expect to be moving so well. I’m satisfied I made the quarterfinals. The main thing is feeling happy about being back on court.”Akane Yamaguchi on her first tournament back from injury after her quarterfinal loss to Zhang Yi Man

“It seems at 20-19 we need to analyse our method of winning the crucial point. This is one aspect we need to improve on. We were gaining a few points but at 18-19 we were struggling to win the rally. You could say this a revenge victory as they defeated us in the final last year but there’s one more match to go.”Wang Chang after he and Liang Wei Keng overcome defending champions Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto 16-31 21-17 21-18 in 54 minutes

“We knew about the pressure coming into this match and they had the support of the crowd, we were stunned. My experience came into play and we were able to devise a strategy.” – Double world champion Seo Seung Jae after he and Kang Min Hyuk defeated home hopes Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik 16-21 21-18 21-13

“My celebration definitely wasn’t planned. It was a shoutout to my legs for working hard. I showed great stamina and that I’m mentally tough. I haven’t always played well in Malaysia but I’m getting better at navigating windy conditions. I play Lin Chun-Yi next, haven’t faced him before. He’s lefthanded with a crazy good attack. He’s dangerous and you can see that from the players he’s beaten this week. It’s going to be fun.” Anders Antonsen on THAT celebration

Antonsen celebrates his win in his own way.

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