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Badminton: In-form mixed doubles duo Terry Hee, Jessica Tan stun 6th-seeded Thai rivals in Malaysia Open q-finals

Reigning Commonwealth Games gold-medal winners keep up good form after winning two events in the last two months

Singapore mixed doubles badminton duo Terry Hee (left) and Jessica Tan in action against Thailand's Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai at the 2024 Petronas Malaysia Open.
Singapore mixed doubles badminton duo Terry Hee (left) and Jessica Tan in action against Thailand's Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai at the 2024 Petronas Malaysia Open. (PHOTO: How Foo Yeen/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore mixed doubles badminton pair Terry Hee and Jessica Tan maintained their improving form at the end of last year, as they scored an upset win to advance into the Petronas Malaysia Open semi-finals on Friday (12 January).

The husband-and-wife duo, who were gold medallists at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, stunned sixth-seeded Thai pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai 21-16, 21-19 in their mixed doubles quarter-finals clash at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.

Hee and Tan, ranked 22nd in the world, had seen their form improve in the final months of 2023, after struggling for positive results since winning the Commonwealth Games gold. They clinched mixed doubles titles in the Irish Open in November and the inaugural Guwahati Masters event in India a month later, while also coming in runners-up at the Abu Dhabi Masters and Odisha Masters competitions.

Meeting with Korean pair in semi-finals

At the Malaysia Open - which is an elite BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament with a total prize pot of US$1.3 million - the Singaporean duo edged out Taiwan duo Ye Hong-wei and Lee Chia-hsin 15-21, 21-19, 21-12 in the round of 32, before defeating Thailand's Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran 21-14, 23-21 in the round of 16.

Those victories set up Friday's quarter-final meeting with Dechapol and Sapsiree, who were two-time Singapore Open winners in 2019 and 2022. Hee and Tan started off strongly, sweeping to a 14-6 lead before taking the first game comfortably. However, the second game was far tighter, with both pairs locked at 19-19 before the Singapore duo took the last two points for the win in 48 minutes.

Hee and Tan will next face seventh-seeded South Koreans Kim Won-ho and Jeong Na-eun, who defeated top seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong of China 21-11, 18-21, 21-17 in their quarter-final tie.

Yeo Jia Min, however, could not advance in the semi-finals, as the Singaporean women's singles shuttler was beaten 21-16, 12-21, 19-21 by top-seeded South Korean An Se Young in her quarter-final tie.

Singapore's men's singles star Loh Kean Yew was eliminated on Tuesday by world No.1 Viktor Axelsen, losing 13-21, 15-21 in the opening round.

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