Friday, 25 May 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM
Malaysia go down fighting to Indonesia in quarter-finals
MALAYSIA’S Thomas Cup challenge has come to an end in the quarter-finals and with that, the wait for the elusive title continues after 26 years.
Yesterday, Malaysia went down fighting 3-1 to 13-time champions and arch-rivals Indonesia.
It was Malaysia’s 10th loss in 15 meetings against Indonesia in the premier world team event.
Indonesia, powered by young singles players, take on China in the semi-finals today.
It all began with a positive start for Malaysia when Lee Chong Wei showed he is an ever dependable player when the 35-year-old defeated a fast-attacking Anthony Ginting 21-19, 21-16 in a 49-minute match.
It was Chong Wei’s second win over the 21-year-old Anthony this year after beating him at the Asian Badminton Championships last month.
“I kept to the same pattern like how I played yesterday (against Viktor Axelsen of Denmark) and went on the assault from the start,” said Chong Wei.
“I looked at opportunites to win points. Anthony is 15 years younger than me and he was aggressive but I managed to play the right game to beat him,” he said.
But all others after him – national No. 1 doubles shuttlers Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Lee Zii Jia and Aaron Chia-Teo Ee Yi crashed out one after another.
V Shem-Wee Kiong failed to extend Malaysia’s lead when they went down 19-21, 22-20, 13-21 in a 55-minute match against Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.
Said Wee Kiong: “We actually played well – better than yesterday but lacked luck.
“It didn’t go to our plan in the third game. We were nervous with our return shots, and made mistakes.”
Having failed again to deliver a point following their defeat in a tie against Denmark on Wednesday, V Shem said: “The expectations were on us to win and we wanted the same too. We’ve to accept this defeat.”
Lee Zii Jia raised a glimmer of hope when the 20-year-old forced Kuala Lumpur Games champion Jonatan Christie to a deciding game but ran out of steam, losing 15-21, 21-11, 13-21 in 48 minutes.
“I tried my best but Jonatan played well today. I kept pushing but it was evident that he was phsyically stronger at the end. I ran out of energy,” said Zii Jia.
The hope was on scratch pair Aaron Chia-Teo Ee Yi to save the day but they went down fighting 18-21, 21-10, 9-21 to Fajar Alfian-Muhd Rian Ardianto. The Indonesian youngsters were fielded instead of their two-time world champions Hendra Setiwan-Mohd Ahsan but they duly delivered.