KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 -– Top national women’s badminton doubles Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah created history by being the country’s first badminton women’s doubles pair to clinch a French Open title after their victory in tonight’s final at Stade Pierre de Coubertine in Paris.
The world No 11 pair defeated Japan’s two-time world champions Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara 21-19, 18-21 21-15 in a hard-fought final.
Speaking after the match, Pearly and Thinaah said they were thrilled to be a part of history and vowed to improve their performance at higher-level tournaments.
“I think Europe is definitely a good place for us after having won a gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.”
“It is also ‘double happiness’ for us today because we want to qualify for the World Tour finals. We are very happy that we can play at this level, and we just want to keep improving ourselves.”
“This is also the beginning for us to boost our game to a higher level and definitely become stronger and stronger,” said Thinaah.
Previously, the closest a Malaysian women’s doubles pair has ever gotten to winning the title – since the tournament’s inception in 1908 – was through Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty, who were defeated in three sets by China’s Du Jing-Yu Yang in the 2008 final.
Pearly, who was out of commission for nearly two months following her hamstring injury at the Japan Open in September, added that the trust between the pair played a vital role in their success.
“It is unexpected for us. This win really boosts our confidence. Most important is the trust that we have with each other and with our coaches.”
During Friday’s quarter-finals, the duo upset another Japanese pair, third-ranked Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida, 21-18, 21-7.
Meanwhile, world number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark won the men’s singles title after defeating compatriot Rasmus Gemke 21-14, 21-15.