Basel: After rested for nearly eight months due to a recurring heel injury, the World No. 155 men’s singles player Jan O. Jorgensen eased past his Malaysian opponent World No. 46 Lee Zii Jia 21-15, 21-14 in straight sets in the Swiss Open opener on Wednesday.
The former World No. 2 Dane made his official comeback at last week’s European team championships, in which he and his teammates won the title by defeating England 3-1 in the final.
Jorgensen is set to play Malaysia’s Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin in the second round. The last time Jorgensen and Zulkarnain met was in the semi-final of the 2016 China Open, and that meeting didn’t go well, simply because Jorgensen was seen as being “disrespectful” after he tossed a shirt that was emblazoned with the Malaysian flag where Zulkarnain left in the kit box unintentionally (see video below). Jorgensen’s action prompted angry reactions from fans all over the world.
In addition to that, Zulkarnain also told media Jorgensen kept mocking him by calling him “Lee Chong Wei”.
Jorgensen and Zulkarnain had quickly buried the hatchet after Jorgensen issued a public apology on his Facebook page saying “I’m sorry for all the Malaysians I have offended by throwing Iskandar’s shirt. Not my meaning to be disrespectful… I have a lot respect for him.”
Meanwhile, Zulkarnain had to dig deep to overcome Eetu Heino to advance to the second round.
Another Malaysian men’s singles player Soong Joo Ven managed to outlast Adulrach Namkul of Thailand 24-22, 21-19 to set up second round meeting with another Thai player – No. 4 seed Suppanyu Avihingsanon.
In the men’s doubles, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia battled past the Indonesia/Bulgaria combo Titon Gustaman/Stilian Makarski 16-21, 21-19, 21-7 to take on No. 8 seeds Mark Lamsfuss/Marvin Emil Seidel of Germany on Thursday.