JOHOR BARU: The early rounds in the men’s singles of the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold championships at the Bandaraya Stadium here yesterday saw the exit of several fancied players.
Chinese youngster Chen Long lived up to his name of “dragon” and pulled off the biggest upset of the day by dumping second seed Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, winning the first-round match 21-14, 20-22, 21-19.
The world No. 65 went on to beat Malaysian Pei Wee Chung 21-10, 21-10 and will play against India’s Arvind Bhat today for a place in the quarter-finals.
Yesterday, the former world junior champion gave a fiery performance to send Taufik packing. And having claimed a prized scalp, Chen Long declared that he would go all out to nail the title.
“I won the Asian junior title in Malaysia (2007). And now I want to win my first international Open title here,” said the 21-year-old Chen Long.
“The win over Taufik has given me a lot of confidence. There is a good chance for me to achieve my career breakthrough here.”
Chen Long was not the only unseeded player who came into the limelight yesterday.
Malaysian youngster Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin also nailed his biggest career win, eliminating third seed Chetan Anand of India with a hard-fought 21-16, 18-21, 21-17 win.
“I have beaten a world No. 15 for the first time. I am happy to achieve this in Johor Baru where I spend most of my childhood days,” said Iskandar.