Zulfadli Zulkiffli & Lin Dan advance, Shi Yuqi survives major scare to enter World Championships 2nd round

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Lin Dan makes the 2017 World Championships second round.
Lin Dan makes the 2017 World Championships second round.

Glasgow: Malaysia kicked off the opening day of the World Championships in Glasgow on a high note for as all Malaysians in action were able to advance to second round successfully.

Former World junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli’s slow start briefly stirred speculation about another early exit for the Malaysian. Fortunately, Zulkiffli able to overcome a sluggish first set and found his way safely into the 2nd round after he rallied back to beat Artem Pochtarov of Ukraine 8-21, 21-13, 21-13 in 53 minutes. He will meet No. 11 seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand next.

China’s Super Dan who aimed to ‘make history’ for a sixth world title, looked sharp as ever in his opening victory by brushing aside a helpless Kieran Merrilees from Scotland 21-15, 21-10 to book his place into the second round. Lin will compete against Emil Holst of Denmark on Wednesday.

Ireland’s Scott Evans unquestionably got under the skin of World No. 4 Shi Yuqi as the Irish showed his determination to do well in Scotland by stretching Shi to his limits. Nevertheless, Shi proved too strong for Evans and narrowly avoided becoming the first round casualty by beating Evans 23-21, 22-20 in 51 minutes. Shi will meet Ygor Coelho of Brazil in the second round.

In women’s competition, Malaysia’s Yap Rui Chen notched up a first round victory against Australia’s Chen Hsuan-Yu 21-19, 21-11 and will play former World Champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand on Tuesday.

Independent shuttler Krishnan Yogendran of Malaysia also cruised into the second round when he and his mixed doubles partner – India’s Prajakta Sawant knocked out Lu Ching Yao/Chiang Kai Hsin of Taiwan to set up a clash with India’s No. 15 seeds Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Reddy N. Sikki.

Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei will begin his campaign on Tuesday against Frenchman Brice Leverdez while China’s defending champion Chen Long will be in action against Georges Julien Paul from Mauritius.

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