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(Photo: BWF / Badmintonphoto)
Triumph and upsets for European pairs
Date: 5/23/2023 4:30 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
As expected, European athletes faced stiff challenge on the first day of the Malaysia Masters.

The opening matches of the PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2023 shows the high stakes of the Super 500 tournament. The first day started with the qualification rounds and then moved on to the main draw’s first round of men’s and women’s doubles.

Day one witnessed both triumph and disappointment for the European badminton pairs. Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen are one of the big winners of today’s matches. The Danes have secured their spot in the round of 16 with a win against Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo and Lim Chiew Sien, 21-13 21-18. 

However, it was a different story for two of Europe’s strongest pairs. Despite their higher world ranking, the seeded duo of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen experienced a defeat at the hands of Malaysia's Man Wei Chong and Kai Wun Tee, who triumphed with a close-fought score of 23-25, 16-21. Adding to the European setbacks, the Stoeva sisters faced tough opposition from Malaysia's sixth-seeded Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharan, losing 17-21, 14-21. 

In the qualification round, several European pairs showcased their determination to secure their place in the main draw. Germany’s Stine Kuspert and Emma Moszczynski delivered a thrilling performance, winning against Chinese Taipei’s Hu Ling Fang and Lin Xiao Min with a hard-fought scoreline of 24-22, 28-26. 

2022 European Championships bronze medallists Mikkel Mikkelsen and Rikke Søby, Denmark, emerged as winners in what was an all-European match against Germany’s Jones Ralfy Jansen and Linda Efler, triumphing in straight games, 21-19, 15-21, 21-15. 

Christo Popov showcased a promising start in the qualification rounds with a victory over Malaysia's Mohamad Hafiz Mohamed Sikkander. However, he faced a setback in the match to guarantee his spot in the main draw, losing a hard-fought three-set encounter against Korea's Jeon Hyeok Jin, 21-13, 15-21, 19-21. 

Later on the day, Christo Popov ventured into the main draw teaming up with brother Toma Junior Popov in the men’s doubles main draw. The French pair initially dominated the match against Choi Sol Gyu and Kim Won Ho but the Korean opponents turned the tide to take the win, 24-22 21-10. 

Check today’s results here

Tomorrow, it will be a full-on main draw day, with matches starting at 10.00am Kuala Lumpur time (04.00am CEST). You can watch all matches live on BWF TV.

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