PETALING JAYA: KLRC’s Mohd Hafiz Hashim is just one step away from reaching his first semi-finals this year.
Yesterday, the former All-England champion continued his fine form to make the quarter-finals of the Macau Open with a convincing 21-19, 21-13 win over Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia in the third round.
Today, he will take on Japan’s Kenichi Tago in a bid to end the rut after struggling throughout the year.
If he continues to get the better of rising youngsters, the 28-year-old Hafiz will surely be considered for the Thomas Cup Finals next year.
There were, however, mixed fortunes for Malaysia in both the men’s and women’s doubles.
In the men’s doubles, only Mohd Lutfi Zaim Abdul Khalid-Vountus Indra Mawan are left in the fray after KLRC’s Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif crashed out.
Fairuzizuan-Zakry gave a good account of themselves before going down 21-18, 12-21, 15-21 to top seeds Ko Sung-hyun-Yoo Yeon-seong of South Korea.
Their defeat put paid to hopes of an all-Malaysia semi-final.
Back-up pair Lutfi-Vountus will now take on Sung-hyun-Yeon-seong and they face a tough task to go through.
In the women’s doubles, only Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei made it to the last eight after the exit of Marylen Ng Paou Leng-Lim Yin Loo in the second round yesterday.
Indonesia Open Grand Prix winners Vivian-Khe Wei will take on the winners of the match between Hong Kong’s Poon Lok Yan-Tse Ying Suet and South Koreans Eom Hye-won-Jang Ye-na for a place in the semi-finals.
World No 9 Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying crashed out to Indonesians Mohd Rijal-Debby Susanto with a meek 11-21, 14-21 defeat in the second round of the mixed doubles event.