Anaheim: Malaysia’s former World Junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli kicked off the US Open in style when he had little trouble dispatching Wolfgang Gnedt of Austria 21-9, 21-11 in the first round on Wednesday.
The No. 6 seed Zulkiffli will meet Heo Kwang Hee of Korea in the second round.
However, men’s singles No. 1 seed Lee Hyun Il suffered an early exit and as the Korean was upset by India’s unseeded shuttler Parupalli Kashyap for a 16-21, 21-10, 19-21 loss in 1 hour 3 minutes.
Parupalli Kashyap will take on Gergely Krausz of Hungary next.
Wednesday was also a good day for Malaysia’s mixed doubles pairs. The No. 4 seeds Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai swept past the Croatia and USA combo of Zvonimir Durkinjak/Jing Yu Hong 21-18, 21-15 to set up a second encounter with Manu Attri/Maneesha K. of India.
Mixed doubles top seeds Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing also claimed victory in their US Open first-round match. Tan/Lai needed just 28 minutes to defeat Oliver Schaller/Celine Burkart of Switzerland 21-16, 21-7. The top seeded Malaysian pair will face the first round winner between Mathew Fogarty/Isabel Zhong from USA and Alexander Dunn/Eleanor O’donnell of Scotland in the second round.
Meanwhile, former World No. 1 women’s singles player Saina Nehwal of India has decided to pull out of US Open just a day before the start of the $120,000 tournament. The reason for her withdrawal had not yet been released by the organizer.