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Tan and Thinaah knock out top seeds on Day 3

Pearly Tan and Muralitharan Thinaah knocked out the women’s doubles top seeds on Day Three of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships. 

The Malaysian pair, who lost in the first round a year ago, defeated Chinese pair Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan 22-20 21-16 to beat the world No.1s in the second round.

It marks the second disappointing All England in a row for Chen and Jia, who lost in the quarter-finals as the top seeds in 2023.

Meanwhile, defending champions Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong of Korea won comfortably as they defeated Canada’s Catherine Choi and Josephine Wu 21-9 21-11.

Another seed to fall was the men’s singles world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn who was beaten 21-19 18-21 21-13 by Jonatan Christie in a match lasting 70 minutes.

Christie is ranked just two places below seventh-place Vitidsarn and the pair were evenly matched until the Indonesian pulled away in the decider.

Elsewhere in the men’s singles, Christo Popov enjoyed a breakthrough victory as he beat Su Li Yang to reach his first YONEX All England Open quarter-final.

The Frenchman will play Koki Watanabe and said: “I’m very proud to reach my first Super1000 quarter-final. It’s also my first All England singles quarters.

“I just can’t wait to go tomorrow. It’s a dream to play here and to perform also, I will keep surfing on this wave and keep going.”

Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong advanced to the mixed doubles quarter-finals for a fourth time as they continue their quest to retain their title, although Zheng is not calling their campaign a defence.

“We’re excited to get to the quarter-final again, it is close to the defence of the title but we don’t want to use the word ‘defending’,” Zheng said.

“We want to compete for the title of champion and we are looking forward to our quarter-final.”

Zheng and Huang will face Dejan Ferdinansyah and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia after they knocked out home favourites Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis.

Smith and Ellis succumbed to a 21-17 21-9 defeat to end English involvement in the tournament, but Ellis chose to savour what could be their final match at the hallowed competition.

“I think we don’t know how long we’ll be playing for,” Ellis said. “We both had our injury struggles over the last year or two.

“It may or may not be, but every single time we step out on court at All England, we want it to be something that we can be proud of.

“We’re not 100%. Nothing is 100% and nothing is a given but if that is the last time we’re out on that court, I want to remember it in a positive way.”

A player who has confirmed her retirement at the end of the season is Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and she made it to another women’s singles quarter-final.

The three-time champion beat Kim Ga Eun of Korea 21-17 21-15 while the defending champion An Se Young opened the day with a win over India’s PV Sindhu.

The day rounded out with the men’s doubles No.1s being knocked out in straight games, as Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost to Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana.

The 2022 champions triumphed 21-16 21-15 to set up a meeting with Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia.


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