PETALING JAYA: Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng both stepped up to storm into the second round of the China Open at Shanghai on Wednesday.
Daren who has recovered from a foot injury which saw him lose in the first round of the Denmark and French Opens last month, was sensational in beating seventh seed Jan O Jorgensen 21-17, 21-12.
The 26-year-old Daren who has slipped down to No. 29 in the world rankings following his poor Europe showing was at his best as he continuously made world No. 6 Jorgensen frustrated.
The KL-born shuttler who has a 2-1 prior record against the Dane coolly held his nerve to seal his ticket into the next round in just 33 minutes.
It was an impressive comeback for Daren as Jorgensen was riding high on confidence following his French Open success while the Malaysian had to suffer the ignominy of being dropped for the Naypyitaw SEA Games next month.
“I think I played well today and I was very patient against Jorgensen,” said Daren.
“I may have a good record against him but the last time we met (in the Malaysian Open this year), I was beaten by him so I tried not to think about our previous meetings.
“But this is definitely a good break for me especially after a few poor results. I was prepared in Europe but an unfortunate foot injury meant I was unable to perform.”
Wei Feng, ranked No. 17 in the world gave himself a morale boost ahead of the SEA Games with a superb performance to thrash Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-12, 21-10.
It made up for his second round defeat to the lanky Thai in Denmark and the scrawny Kedahan definitely showed that he can be relied upon to deliver in the SEA Games.
Wei Feng, who is still seeking a breakthrough in Super Series events, will face China’s Tian Houwei next. The 2009 world junior champion was in fiery form to beat Vietnam’s sixth seed Nguyen Tien Minh 19-21, 21-16, 21-14.
In the mixed doubles, fifth seeds Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying survived a fierce onslaught by new home pair Kai Lu-Tang Jinhua before edging through 16-21, 21-18, 21-19.
“We didn’t play so well in the first game and some of the calls were going against us but we managed to mount a proper comeback,” said Liu Ying.
“It was quite a pressured match, as they are the lower ranked pair and have studied our game well. I guess we’re really lucky to go through and hopefully we’ll do better in the second round.”
Independent pairs Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock however both crashed out in the first round – against Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa-Hiroyuki Endo and Hong Kong’s Chan Yun Lung-Lee Chun Hei respectively.
The biggest upset of the day however came courtesy of Denmark Open champions Lee Yong-dae-Yoo Yeon-seong of South Korea who once again defeated top seeds Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia 21-18, 21-11.
World No. 12 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong also pulled off a massive upset in besting Danish second seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen.
Thien How-Wee Kiong who are bidding to qualify for the Super Series Finals next month, won 25-23, 21-15.