Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto managed to pass a tough test in the first round of the 2023 Malaysia Open. Meeting Christo Popov/Toma Junior Popov (France), FajRi managed to win three games with a score of 19-21, 21-16, 21-15 in 58 minutes .
Playing in court 3 of Axiata Arena, Tuesday (10/1), Fajar/Rian faced fierce resistance from the Popov brothers in the first game. The French duo managed to close the interval with an 11-10 advantage, but FajRi managed to get back up after the interval.
After leveling the score at 12-12, Fajar/Rian were able to stay away until 17-13, but the advantage failed to be maintained after Christo/Toma won six consecutive points to lead 19-17, and finally secured the first game with a 21-19 victory.
The second game was also initially running tight. Christo/Toma had a 5-1 lead, but Fajar/Rian managed to catch up and equalize the score to 7-7. From here, FajRi could no longer be chased.
After winning 11-8 at the interval, their points continued to increase until they finally closed the second game with a score of 21-16, forcing Christo/Toma to play a rubber game.
In the third or decider game, the chase for points resumed until it was 7-7, but Fajar/Rian were able to close the interval with an 11-8 advantage. After the break, Christo/Toma stuck to 13-14, but Fajar/Rian kept their distance until 18-13.
In the end, Fajar/Rian only gave their opponent two additional points before finishing the third game with a score of 21-15. This result led them to the round of 16 to meet German representatives, Mark Lamsfuss/Marvin Seidel.
Meanwhile in court 2, Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan also won over Chinese representatives, He Ji Ting/Zhou Hao Dong with a score of 19-21, 21-8, 21-13 in 40 minutes. In the round of 16, The Daddies will meet juniors at national training, namely Pramudya Kusumawardana / Yeremia Rambitan.
Ahsan/Hendra were also able to qualify for the next round. Photo: Between Photos/Public Relations of PBSI/Handout