ROBERT BLAIR and Jillie Cooper scored a superb win today in the first round of the Maybank Malaysia Open Superseries event in Kuala Lumpur.
The Scots defeated Korean sixth seeds Shin Baek Choel and Eom Hye Won, winning 22-20 12-21 21-17 to book their place in the last sixteen against Malaysians Tan Aik Quan and Lai Pei Jing.
In the opening game the Koreans made a good start and Blair and Cooper were always trailing their higher ranked opponents until, with the scores level at 20-20, the Scots won the next two points to take it 22-20.
In the second game the Koreans were always in control, racing away to take it 21-12 but the third was a different story. Blair and Cooper took an early lead and were never behind. With the scores level at 16-16 the Scots took five of the next six points to record a 22-20 12-21 21-17 win.
Cooper also reached the last sixteen of the women’s doubles with Kirsty Gilmour, coming from behind to beat Malaysians Ho Yen Mei and Yap Rui Chen 17-21 21-17 21-17. Their reward is a last-sixteen tie against Ra Ko and Won Yoo Hae of Korea, who defeated Indonesian seventh seeds Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii in the opening round.
Gilmour couldn’t make it to the second round of the singles but she put up a great fight in her first appearance in the main draw of a Superseries event against Hong Kong’s Chan Tsz Ka, going down 16-21 21-11 21-14 having taken the opening game.
In the men’s doubles Blair and his Malaysian partner Tan Bin Shen opened up against Thai pair Patiphat Chalardchaleam and Nipitphon Puangpuapech, but were forced to retire while training 21-12 17-10 when Bin Shen suffered a shoulder injury.
Paul Van Rietvelde and England’s Marcus Ellis missed out on a place in the last sixteen by the narrowest of margins when they were beaten 15-21 21-17 22-20 by Malaysia’s Gan Teik Chan and Ong Soon Hock.
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