Fourth time's the charm? Aaron-Wooi Yik eyes semi-final spot at World Championships

KUALA LUMPUR: Can Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik secure a victory in their fourth match against China's Liu Yu Chen-Ou Xuan Yi to advance to the World Championships semi-finals in Copenhagen on Friday?

The world No. 4 pair hope to build on their impressive last-16 victory over Taiwan's reigning Olympic gold medallists Lee Yang-Wang Chi Lin and move closer to a successful world title defence.

It's an uphill battle for Aaron-Wooi Yik when considering their past struggles against the world No. 7 Yu Chen-Xuan Yi.

In their three encounters over the last 14 months, the Chinese pair prevailed, with their most recent victory being in the second round of the Malaysia Open in January.

Yet, an optimistic Aaron emphasised that the outcome of the past meetings won't influence the upcoming match.

"It's definitely not going to be easy for us. Based on the head-to-head record alone, we haven't won before," said Aaron.

"However, every new match represents a fresh start. It begins at zero-zero. All we need to do is prepare as thoroughly as possible and remain extra focused during the battle."

Referring to their pivotal strategy in defeating Lee Yang-Chi Lin, Wooi Yik said: "We played to the game plan.

"In the opening game, Aaron-Wooi Yik orchestrated a remarkable comeback from a 13-6 deficit to set the tone for their win.

"We were patient and did not put too much pressure on ourselves," said Wooi Yik."

During the first game, we found it tough to withstand their strong attacks but we didn't give up. We remained true to our strategy and overcame the early struggle.

"Hopefully, we can maintain that mindset for tomorrow and beyond."

Xuan Yi-Yu Chen, who is without a win this year, has not been consistent this year.

However, they demonstrated they were in peak condition by winning their first two rounds in straight sets, including a victory over Taiwan's Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han with scores of 24-22, 21-16 on Thursday.In the mixed doubles, Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei have an opportunity to mark their debut with a creditable podium finish.

However, they first must overcome Japan's second seeds Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei extended their impressive run on Thursday, defeating French seventh seeds Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue 20-22, 21-19, 21-12.

The Malaysians hope to showcase their trademark energetic display, filled with emotion, as they aim to power through to the semi-finals.Reflecting on their synergy and playing style, Tang Jie said: "We are very similar on the court. We possess a strong desire to win and often show our emotions during play.

"While I tend to be calmer, Ee Wei is more aggressive, holding nothing back. Her approach often proves beneficial, especially during close points. She believes that we must dare to lose to truly breakthrough."

Should Tang Jie-Ee Wei seal a place in the semi-finals, they will become the first Malaysian pair to medal in the event since Koo Kien Keat-Wong Pei Tty claimed bronze in Madrid in 2006.

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