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Malaysia’s Pearly-Thinaah stun Stoeva sisters for Swiss Open title

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysians can now count on women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah to win more Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour titles after the budding stars clinched the 2021 Swiss Open crown today.

The world No 30 Malaysians stunned world No 14 and third seeds Gabriela Stoeva-Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria 21-19, 21-12 in their maiden World Tour final at St Jakobshalle, Basel.

The unseeded Malaysians enjoyed a solid start, thanks to their aggressive attacking game, and built up an eight-point lead (11-3) in the first game before the Bulgarian sisters narrowed the gap. But Pearly-Thinaah held on to win.

In the second game, Pearly-Thinaah continued from where they left off to bag their first BWF major title and become the first Malaysians to win the women’s crown in the tournament.

Malaysia last tasted victory at the Swiss Open when men’s singles ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei and men’s doubles pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong triumphed in 2009.

Pearly, 20, and Thinaah, 23, advanced to the final after edging compatriots and seniors Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean 10-21, 21-14, 21-16 in the semi-finals yesterday.

Pearly-Thinaah had also won the Bangladesh International Challenge and India International Challenge titles in 2019 prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They have shown good progress, having advanced to the quarter-finals of the both the Yonex Thailand Open and Toyota Thailand Open in January. They even upset world No 9 Chang Ye Na-Kim Hye Rin of South Korea in the Toyota Thailand Open.

Meanwhile, Lee Zii Jia (men’s singles), Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (mixed doubles) and Aaron Chia-Soh Woi Yik (men’s doubles) all crashed out in the semi-finals of the Swiss Open. — Bernama

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