Soniia Cheah claimed one of her biggest wins this year after she ousted world number four Akane Yamaguchi 21-19, 21-16 to step into the second round of the Fuzhou China Open on Wednesday.
This win should give the Malaysian a much needed confidence boost, as she had been struggling to regain any momentum after being dumped out in the opening round of her last four tournaments.
Soniia had beaten some bigger names such as Chinese duo He Bingjao and former world number one Li Xuerui this year, but Yamaguchi is a tougher nut to crack with her relentless work ethics.
The lanky shuttler’s reward is a meeting against either Michelle Li or Cheung Ngan Yi in the women's singles second round.
There was more good news for the Malaysian contingent in the first round of the China Open.
Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying beat France’s Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue 21-19, 21-19 and will next face Dutch pair Robin Tabeling-Selena Piek.
Chan-Goh are joined by Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai in the next round.
Tan-Lai beat Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yang-Yang Ching Tun 21-10, 21-16 to set up a clash against Thailand’s third seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
Goh-Shevon, meanwhile, overcame English pair Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith for the third time this year, winning 21-18, 21-19 and booking an encounter against Indonesia’s Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas.
In the men’s doubles, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin saw off China’s Di Zi Jian-Wang Chan 21-18, 21-12 and will meet either Japan’s Takuto Inoue-Yuki Kaneko or Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda.