The Tokyo 2020 gold medallists, who had gone off the boil since their success in Japan, looked headed to an early exit after dropping the opener 21-14. The second game then saw their famed big-hitting make a comeback, leaving world champions Chia and Soh with no answers. They eventually surrendered 21-16 21-19 after doing battle for 47 minutes at the Al Nasr Club in Dubai.
In one of the day’s most anticipated matches, All England winner Li Shi Feng came out on top for the third consecutive time against fellow young star Kunlavut Vitidsarn. The world No.11, who leads the HSBC Race to Finals standings, beat the Thai sixth seed 21-13 21-15.
However, Li’s fellow Birmingham conquerors, women’s doubles third seeds Kim So Yeong/Kong Hee Yong, could not prolong their campaign as they suffered a surprise straight games loss to world No.18s Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma/Amalia Cahaya Pratiwi. The Indonesians won 21-16 21-16.
Pusarla, whose 21-12 21-15 victory extended her unbeaten record against Han Yue to four matches, is yet to overcome her Korean rival after five meetings.
“It won’t be easy against An. I don’t have a good record against her, but will go out all confident,” she said. “I hope to play with a new strategy, try to engage her in rallies and not give away the lead.”
- Men’s singles fifth seed Chou Tien Chen bowed out after losing 21-19 14-21 21-8 to Lu Guang Zu.
- Fourth seeds Zheng Yu/Zhang Shu Xian fell 17-21 22-20 14-21 to two-time world champions Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara.
- Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana ended fifth-seeded Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi’s journey in three games.
- Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan will renew their rivalry with Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota in the last eight. It stands 9-8 in the Japanese’s favour.
- After twice falling in the second round (2019, 2022), Lee Cheuk Yiu is through to a first quarterfinal at the tournament following his 21-18 21-18 win over Shi Yu Qi.
- Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan avenged their defeat at the same stage to Ren Xiang Yu/Tan Qiang last year.