Axelsen is qualified for the quarterfinals in Malaysia (Credit: Badminton Photo)
Three Europeans left in Malaysia
Date: 4/4/2019 9:18 AM
Published by : Annika Langrock
On Thursday, the second round of the CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open 2019 got underway in Kuala Lumpur. After some intense fights on court, three Europeans are playing the quarterfinals tomorrow. 

Viktor Axelsen as well as Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis have reached the quarterfinals of the BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament, whereas Kirsty Gilmour, Anders Antonsen, Rasmus Gemke and Ekaterina Bolotova/Alina Davletova lost against their strong Asian opponents. 

Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith were the first Europeans that had a reason to celebrate on Thursday: They qualified for the quarterfinals in Kuala Lumpur.

Tough fight for Ellis/Smith

21-14 and 24-22 is their final score of the match against Ou Xuanyi and Feng Xueying (China), after a 37-minutes’-fight. Both pairs have never faced each other before. 

- They were quite unknown, we didn't know a lot about them, so we tried to focus on ourselves and playing the windy conditions well, Lauren Smith said after the match. 

- We're happy with the first set, in the second we played to their strengths too much, but we stayed mentally tough to come back and take the set from behind, she added.

Tomorrow, Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith will face Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai from Thailand, who reached the next round of the tournament after a walkover by their Malaysian opponents, Goh Soon Huat/Lai Shevon Jemie.

- We know it will be a difficult game tomorrow. The Thai pair is very consistent and plays quite physical, we haven't beaten them in the past but feel like we've created opportunities to win and want to do that again tomorrow, Smith said. 

- I like to take it game by game, always thinking about giving my best on that day, so that's what I'm sticking with. Hopefully, we can play some of our best badminton in tomorrow's match, she continued. 

Axelsen in the quarterfinal 

Following the example of the English Mixed Doubles pair, Viktor Axelsen also beat his Chinese opponent, Lu Guangzu, who is the current number 20 in the world (21-11, 16-21, 21-17). 

Axelsen will now face Jonatan Christie from Indonesia in the quarterfinals tomorrow, after Christie was able to eliminate the world’s number one, Kento Momota from Japan, on Thursday. 

Antonsen loses against Shi Yuqi again 

Axelsen’s compatriot, Anders Antonsen, could not advance to the next round of the tournament in the Men’s Singles. 

After being beaten by Shi Yuqi in the first round of the YONEX All England, the Dane had to accept another defeat against the world’s number two, this time in the second round in Malaysia. Antonsen lost the match in two intense games (21-18, 21-19). 

Find the match plan for tomorrow’s quarterfinals here 
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