Pearly-Thinaah create history by winning French Open title

By: Patrick Beech

World No 11 women's doubles Pearly Tan and M.Thinaah created history when they were crowned the new French Open champions recently.

They defeated Japan's world No. 7 Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara 21-19, 18-21, 21-15 in the finals in Paris - making them the first Malaysians to win the women's doubles title at the French Open since the tournament's inception in 1908.

The last Malaysian women's doubles to reach the French Open final was the duo of Wong Pei Tty and Chin Eei Hui back in 2008.

Tan and Thinaah, playing in only their second tournament since making a return after the Japan Open last month, pocketed US$44,400 and their Japanese counterparts received US$21,000.

Pearly and Thinaah, who won the Commonwealth Games gold medal, won their first World Tour final this year with the victory.

They had reached the semi-finals at the Thailand Open (May), Indonesian Masters (June) and Malaysian Masters (July).

“The most important thing is the trust between Thinaah and I and also the coach (Hoon Thien How),” said Pearly.

“It’s really unexpected and means a lot to both of us and a boost for our confidence.

“But there is still room for improvement. We just hope to keep this momentum, train harder and keep improving.”

The trust is something Pearly received from Thinaah who continued training and also skipped the Deepavali celebrations for a fourth year in a row to be focused in their chase for glory.

Malaysia, in Pearly-Thinaah, have the quality to win a first in women’s badminton at the 2024 Paris Olympics.