Indonesia Open: Lai’s Road to Redemption Continues

If Lai Pei Jing had suffered a tremendous blow outside the court earlier this week – she had lost “almost all her life savings” to online fraud – it was on court that she found some relief.

With the cloud of the misfortune hanging about her, Lai continued her stirring journey with Tan Kian Meng at the KAPAL API Indonesia Open 2024, as they made their first Super 1000 semifinal since last year’s China Open.

With Lai having posted about the setback earlier this week, the crowd seemed to get on the Malaysians’ side, lending them implicit support. To her credit, and despite all that she had gone through, Lai was in crackling touch on court, aided well by her partner. Quarterfinal opponents Kim Won Ho and Jeong Na Eun were outgunned in the first few minutes, going 1-11 down. The second game was a more even contest, but the Malaysians barely did a thing wrong, and booked their semifinal ticket with the 21-8 21-19 result.

“As you know, before I came to this tournament I had some personal issues, but I’m really happy my partner can understand me and keep supporting me during the match and then we trusted each other on every point and it’s very important that we made it,” said Lai.

“I just focussed on myself and told myself that this is our chance as it was a 50-50 match and we didn’t want to lose the opportunity. So I was fully focussed and happy that we could make it today.

“I think our opponents in the first game were not into the game and we knew we had to take it and take our advantage and refocussed in the second. I cannot express how happy I am now, but I cannot be too happy because we have another game tomorrow.”

Good Day for Malaysia

Man Wei Chong & Tee Kai Wun

It was a good day overall for Malaysia, despite the loss of Leong Jun Hao to Li Shi Feng and Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan to Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan.

Joining Tan/Lai in the semfinals were Man Wei Chong/Tee Kai Wun, having an unprecedented run at a Super 1000 tournament. The world No.20 duo kept their wits about them as they overcame Lu Ching Yao/Yang Po Han, who were playing their last tournament together.


“We’re very happy to get into the semifinals. We didn’t expect this because we always lost in the first round of the Super 1000 and Super 750. This is our first time in the semifinals.” – Man Wei Chong

“Definitely a strong performance; I wish I had won. I just have to be in a positive mindset and not regret because I gave everything on court today. It was just a few points; maybe if we play tomorrow it will be a different result. He played very well at the end; he was more accurate and aggressive than me and I was a bit too passive maybe.” – Toma Junior Popov, after a close loss to Shi Yu Qi

“This is my last tournament before the Olympic Games and I had to try my best. Today it went very well for me. The shuttle is really slow and if you attack too much you lose your power. Today I had to control the shuttle and just keep going in the long rallies.” – Kunlavut Vitidsarn, after a hard-fought win over Lee Zii Jia

→Results (Day 4)
→Order of Play (Semifinals)

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