Georgetown: Playing in front of hometown crowd, Lee Chong Wei progressed into the Malaysia Masters third round by making easy work of Indonesian qualifier Fikri Ihsandi Hadmadi in the first round with a 21-14, 21-15 victory. He then needed only 28 minutes to dispatch Kantawat Leelavechabutr of Thailand in the second round, winning 21-6, 21-15.
Lee will play Derek Wong of Singapore on Thursday for a place in the quarter-finals. Derek defeated Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo of Indonesia in the first round and No. 13 seed Hsu Jen Hao of Taiwan in the second round.
Former World Junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli who has been given the task to lead Malaysia’s campaign in the Thomas Cup Qualifier in Hyderabad, India next month, had to survive a pulsating men’s singles second round battle, beating Hong Kong’s World No. 14 Hu Yun 17-21, 21-18, 24-22.
“I’m satisfied with my performance today. I was able to cut down my mistakes when we were tied at 18-18 and 20-20 in the decider,” said Zulkiffli. Zulkiffli will play No. 10 seed Ajay Jayaram of India on Thursday.
Another Malaysian men’s shuttler Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin also stepped up his intensity in his first round match to defeat World No. 13 Son Wan Ho 21-5, 21-14 in 37 minutes. Next opponent for Zainuddin would be Xue Song of China after he dismissed Ginting Anthony of Indonesia in the second round.
Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong also brought cheers to the Malaysia team, as the World No. 15 pair outplayed sixth seeds Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan of China 22-20, 21-16. The Malaysian pair will play Taiwan’s Liao Min Chun-Tseng Min Hao in the second round.
The Malaysian women’s singles team however suffered through a dismal day as none of them cleared the first round.