Georgetown: Things looked promising for Zulfadli Zulkiffli when he was leading 18-10, 19-11 in the decider and seemingly in control when he played against No. 10 seed Ajay Jayaram in the men’s singles 3rd round of Malaysia Masters on Thursday.
However, the match quickly went downhill for Zulfadli after he confronted line judge over false-calling against him that caused him to lose a point. Since then, Zulfadli seemed to unable to control his negative emotions to allow Jayaram levelling the score at 20-20 and grabbing victory with 22-20 in the third set.
Zulkiffli won the first set 21-11 and lost the second to Jayaram 8-21.
Meanwhile, tournament’s top seed Lee Chong Wei only needed 28 minutes to beat Derek Wong Zi Liang from Singapore, 21-10, 21-10. He will get a chance to exact revenge for Zulkiffli when he plays Jayaram in the quarter-finals on Friday.
After a stellar performance to beat Son Wan Ho on Wednesday, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin came out on top in a nail-biting encounter against Xue Song of China, beating the Chinese shuttler 21-17, 18-21, 21-12. Zainuddin will face Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong on Friday for a place in semi-finals. The No. 8 seed Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong earlier beat another Malaysian, Goh Soon Huat, 21-17, 21-13.
Malaysia’s doubles specialist Tan Kian Meng experienced mixed fortunes on Thursday when he and Low Juan Shen lost to the eighth seeded Taiwanese pair of Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin 16-21 and 19-21 in men’s doubles second round; Tan and his mixed doubles partner, Lai Pei Jing, however, continued their impressive run to beat Ronan Labar/Emilie Lefel of France 21-10, 21-17, setting up a quarter-final battle with Japan’s Keigo Sonoda/Naoko Fukuman.
“I hope to keep our winning momentum going against our opponents tomorrow,” said the 23-year-old Lai Pei Jing.
Both Malaysian men’s pairs Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong and Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong managed to advance to the quarter-finals. Goh/Tan will play Japanese pair Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda and Koo/Tan will face another Japanese opponent Hiroyuki Saeki/Ryota Taohata on Friday.