Last year, Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah brought home the Swiss Open title. This year, Malaysians see these women’s doubles shuttlers take the French Open 2022 title.
Yesterday, at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, the 22- and 24-year-olds scored a historic win after besting Japan’s two-time world champions Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara at the French Open — becoming the first national women’s pair to grab the title since its inception in 1908.
The hard-fought final saw the world No 11 pair score 21-19, 18-21, and 21-15 against their Japanese compatriots. The Malaysian pair kicked off with a solid win in the first round, and despite their slip in the second round, the duo bounced back to quickly claim their epic victory and end the match at 21-15.
With this victory, Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah (who won the Commonwealth Games gold) secured their first World Tour win. Prior to the French Open 2022, the young aces only made it through to the semi-finals at the Thailand Open, Indonesian Masters, and Malaysian Masters.
At the French Open 2022, Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah also won against Indonesia’s top shuttles Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Ramadhanti in the first round, and another Japanese duo — world’s No. 3 — Chiharu Shida-Nami Matsuyama in the quarter-finals.
Although this is their second overall World Tour title, the win did not come easy to the duo, as just a couple of months ago, Pearly Tan was feared to have suffered a long-term injury.
While she spent some time off the court to recover from a torn hamstring, M. Thinaah had to train alone. Upon landing their first-ever French Open title, Thinaah graciously credited her partner’s “ridiculous” fighting spirit for the pair’s dream run to the final.
Featured image credit: Badminton World Federation; Hero image credit: Pearly Tan/Instagram