Pearly-Thinaah overpower Japanese pair in Kumamoto Masters

KUALA LUMPUR: Women's pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah showed no sign of rustiness as they powered into the Kumamoto Masters quarter-finals in Japan on Thursday.

World No. 13 Pearly-Thinaah, in their first competitive action in six weeks, were in their element as they brushed aside Japan's Rui Hirokami-Yuna Kato 21-17, 21-16 in just 41 minutes.

They will be seeking to reach their sixth World Tour semi-final when they go up against another home pair, Rena Miyaura-Ayako Sakuramoto, on Friday.

On paper, Pearly-Thinaah look to have the upper hand having previously defeated the world No. 14 in the last 16 of the Malaysia Masters in May.

This week's campaign is an opportunity for Pearly-Thinaah to salvage at least one title to keep their winning run going on the World Tour.

They have not finished the last two seasons empty-handed, winning the Swiss Open in 2021 and French Open last year.

In mixed doubles, Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing successfully negotiated their way to the last eight.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei laboured to a 16-21, 21-13, 21-13 win over compatriots Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai while Kian Meng-Pei Jing upset South Korea's Kim Won Ho-Jong Na Eun 21-14, 21-17.

Tang Jie-Ee Wei will be out to reach their second semi-finals in as many weeks after the Korea Masters, but standing in their way are China's world No. 1 Zheng Si Wei Huang Ya Qiong, who they had lost to twice in the past four months, most recently at the Asian Games.

Kian Meng-Pei Jing, meanwhile, will be aiming to end their six-match losing streak to home favourites Japan's Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino.

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