It was indeed a good day for the mens’ singles department when Goh Soon Huat marched into the semi-finals of the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold beating his Indian opponent, B. Sai Praneeth, 21/16, 21/23, 21/13 in an hour an six minutes. This is Soon Huat’s best results so far as he did make it to the semis during the Yonex Dutch Open Grand Prix last month but in terms of the level after Superseries events, the Grand Prix Gold tournaments offer the highest ranking points.
Despite being the underdog, Soon Huat stayed positive against his opponents who were ranked very much higher than him. In today’s match, he had a smooth win in the first game but his second game was a scary one. He led the game 20-16 and although it was just one more point for him to celebrate victory, he faltered. He seemed too eager to win that he begin making unforced errors which gave Praneeth the opportunity the catch up to 20-20 and eventually win 23/21. However, the third game saw the Malaysian leading all the way until the very last point.
Coach Tey Seu Bock who was coaching Soon Huat throughout the match praised Soon Huat for his confidence. “I know it was not easy for him when he lost the second game especially when he was just one point away from winning the match, yet he decided to fully focus on the third game and he did it. He played confidently today and I am glad that he has come thus far,” said Seu Bock.
He will next face the winner between Kenta Nishimoto and Jeon Hyeok Jin for a place in the finals. In the bottom half, Indonesian rising star, Ihsan Maulana Mustofa has made it to the last four and he is expected meet either second seed, Tian Houwei of China or Seo Seung Jae of Korea tomorrow.