Nanjing: Malaysia’s independent player, Darren Liew picked up another victory on Wednesday when the World No. 38 needed only 37 minutes to overcome Misha Zilberman of Israel, 21-16, 21-16 in the second round of the World Championships in Nanjing.
“I am really happy with my performance today and I am expecting to play Srikanth on Thursday,” said Liew.
“Although I’ve beaten Srikanth twice, but both matches were played more than five years ago. He was still not a top player back then. This time, it’s going to be completely different. I’ll go back to watch some of his videos, and get ready for the match,” added Liew.
The fifth seeded Srikanth, however was made to work hard, coming from a set down to fight off unseeded Pablo Abian of Spain 21-15, 12-21, 21-14 in 62 minutes.
Japan’s explosive No. 6 seed Kento Momota brushed off any talk of pressure, beating 136th-ranked Austrian Luka Wraber 21-8, 21-10 to play No. 16 seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark on Thursday.
Momota and Srikanth are now the highest remaining seeds in their half following the unexpected withdrawal of Lee Chong Wei and Son Wan-ho.
The five-time world champion and last year’s World Championships runner-up Lin Dan also prevailed in a 21-17, 21-14 victory over Sameer Verma of India. The No. 9 seed Lin will meet compatriot and No. 3 seed Shi Yuqi in the round of 16.
In men’s doubles, Malaysia’s young pair of Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik fended off a furious comeback attempt in a 16-21, 21-18, 21-19 win against Lee Jhe-huei/Lee Yang of Taiwan on Wednesday. Chia/Soh will meet No. 8 seeds Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark next.
Meanwhile, in an all-Malaysian men’s doubles second round battle, No. 13 seeds Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong saw off Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi 21-16, 21-15 in 31 minutes. Goh/Tan will play home favorites and No. 4 seeds Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen for a spot in the quarter-finals.