Kuala Lumpur: Former World Junior Champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli of Malaysia clinched his second senior title of the year at the Russian Open GP on Sunday, although not without a fight.
The No. 1 seed went down to India’s Siril Verma 16-21 in the first set. However, Zulkiffli would not go down without a fight and dig into his reserves, the Malaysian put the crowd in full roar after coming from 14-17 to win the second set 21-19. Zulkiffli was in remarkable form by making a deep run in the decider to claim the Russian Open title with a 21-10 triumph in the third set.
The 23-year-old who won the Brazil Grand Prix on September 4th, was really excited about his Russian Open crown.
“I get nervous easily in the final, and I made a lot of unforced errors today because I was a little too tense,” said Zulkiffli.
“I started to calm down after leading at 17-14 in the second set, and I am really happy to win again,” added Zulkiffli.
Meanwhile, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching and training chairman Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria has urged all young Malaysian men’s singles shuttlers to start stepping up to the plate.
“We are in a transition period right now and back-up shuttlers from other countries are doing great. We need our players to perform good as well,” said Norza.
Norza also has harsh words to those underperformed shuttlers.
“Singles players who were deemed to have no future will need to leave. We don’t have much time left,” added Norza.
Besides Lee Chong Wei, and Zulfadli Zulkiffli, Malaysian shuttlers such as Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Soong Joo Ven, Soo Tech Zhi, Cheam June Wei, Chong Yee Han, Lim Chi Wing, Yeoh Seng Zoe, Chin Wai Kin, Muhd Syafiq Jamaluddin and other have not yet win a title this year.