Paris: World No. 33 men’s singles shuttler and former World junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli was the sole Malaysian survivor in the 2016 French Open Super Series Badminton Tournament at Stade Pierre de Coubertin, Paris.
In the first round match held on Wednesday, the 23-year-old Malaysian had to throw every trick in the book at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic boys’ singles champion Shi Yuqi of China before emerging victorious against 20-year-old from China 24-22, 12-21, 22-20 in a 73-minute grueling match.
Zulfadli however, will face a tricky second round match against sixth seed, Son Wan Ho of Korea on Thursday.
Other than Zulfadli, Wednesday was a dismal day for the Malaysian team at French Open.
Following his quarter-final loss to Brice Leverdez of France in the Denmark Open due to leg injury, World No. 1 men’s singles player Lee Chong Wei conceded a walkover to Hsu Jen Hao of Taiwan on Wednesday, trying to prevent his injury from getting worse.
Another Malaysian men’s singles player Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin also failed to clear his first hurdle as he went down to Shi Yuqi of China 11-21, 19-21 in 40 minutes, while Chong Wei Feng lost to No. 8 seed Angus Ng Ka Long 16-21, 4-21.
Meanwhile, newly crowned Denmark Open men’s doubles champions Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong suffered a shocking exit at the tournament, succumbing to Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark 19-21, 17-21 in 41 minutes.
Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi fell victim to the newly formed Mohammad Hasan-Berry Angriawan of Indonesia, losing 17-21, 17-21.
Malaysian’s losing streak also extended to women’s doubles where Vivian Ho-Woon Khe Wei were denied by Japan’s Naoko Fukuman-Kurumi Yonao 16-21, 16-21.