HAFIZ Hashim took a step closer to the end of his career when he was toppled by unheralded Japanese Yuichi Ikeda in the third round of the Thailand Open in Bangkok yesterday.
Ikeda took advantage of fourth seed Hafiz’s glaring weakness — lack of fitness — to notch a 19-21, 21-16, 21-10 win in 46 minutes to reach the quarter-finals.
Hafiz was bundled out by rising Japanese player Kenichi Tago in the first round of the Indonesia Open last week.
However, Malaysia had plenty to look forward to from the doubles events where four pairs advanced to the quarter-finals.
New combination Hoon Thien How-Ong Soon Hock defeated Keishi Kawaguchi-Naoki Kawamae 21-12, 18-21, 21-11 in the first round and later beat Thailand’s Patipat Chalardchaleam-Nuttaphon Narkthong 21-11, 13-21, 21-13. They face a tough battle in the last eight against top seeds Cai Yun-Cai Yun today.
Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng also stayed in the hunt after beating Chris Adcock-Robert Balir of England 21-15, 21-13 in the second round and will take on second seeds Guo Zhendong-Xie Zhongbo of China next.
However, Singapore Open runners-up Gan Teik Chai-Lin Woon Fui fell 21-19, 17-21, 17-21 to Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen.
In the women’s singles, there were positive signs from Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui who reached the quarter-finals after going through a lean spell throughout the year.
Pei Tty-Eei Hui, the fourth seeds, defeated Japan’s Yui Nakahara-Megumi Sato 21-9, 21-10 in 20 minutes before securing an easy 21-10, 21-7 win over Chang Yun Ju-Liu Shu Chih of Taiwan.
Pei Tty-Eei Hui will meet Denmark’s Helle Nielsen-Marie Roepke of Denmark .
Pei Tty also made it to the last eight of the mixed doubles with Lim Khim Wah. The pair beat compatriots Thien How-Amelia Anscelly 21-17, 21-18 and will meet Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen today.
Results — Men’s Singles 3rd Rd: Yuichi Ikeda (Jpn) bt Hafiz Hashim 19-21, 21-16, 21-10.
Doubles 1st rd: Hoon Thien How-Ong Soon Hock bt Keishi Kawaguchi-Naoki Kawamae (Jpn) 21-12, 18-21, 21-11; Chang Hun Pin-Khoo Chung Chiat bt Lo Lok Kei-Albertus Susanto (HK) 24-22, 21-13; Muhammad Ahsan-Bona Septano (Ina) bt Lim Khim Wah-Tan Bin Shen 21-19, 19-21, 21-19; Gan Teik Chai-Lin Woon Fui bt Hendra Wijaya-Yoga Ukikasah (Sin) 21-15, 21-19; Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng bt Jurgen Koch-Peter Zauner (Aut) 21-14, 21-14; Goh Wei Shem-Ong Jian Guo bt Leung Chun Yu-Johan Hadi Kusuma (HK) 21-18, 21-17; Guo Zhendong-Xie Zhongbo (Chn) bt Chan Peng Soon-Tan Wee Kiong 21-11, 21-8.
2nd Rd: Hoon Thien How-Ong Soon Hock bt Patipat Chalardchaleam-Nuttaphon Narkthong (Tha) 21-11, 13-21, 21-13; Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng bt Chris Adcock-Robert Balir (Eng) 21-15, 21-13; Anders Kristiansen-Simon Mollyhus (Den) bt Chang Hun Pin-Khoo Chung Chiat 21-14, 21-16; Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen (Den) bt Gan Teik Chai-Lin Woon Fui 19-21, 21-17, 21-17; Guo Zhendong-Xie Zhongbo (Chn) bt Goh Wei Shem-Ong Jian Guo 21-13, 21-12.
Women’s Doubles 1st Rd: Fong Chew Yen-Mooi Hing Yau bt Chiang Kai Hsin-Tien Ching Yung 21-15, 21-17; Nadya Melati-Devi Tika Permatasari (Ina) bt Lim Yin Loo-Ng Poau Leng 21-15, 21-13; Vivian Hoo-Ng Hui Lin bt Nathalia Poluakan-Yulianti (Ina) 21-16, 14-21, 21-18; Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui bt Yui Nakahara-Megumi Sato (Jpn) 21-9, 21-10; Helle Nielsen-Marie Roepke (Den) bt Amelia Anscelly-Ooi Yu Hang 21-17, 21-8; Du Jing-Yu Yang (Chn) bt Chong Sook Chin-Woon Khe Wei 21-8, 21-19.
2nd Rd: Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui bt Chang Yun Ju-Liu Shu Chih 21-10, 21-7; Shendy Puspa Irawati-Meiliana Jauhari (Ina) bt Vivian Hoo-Ng Hui Lin 20-22, 21-13, 21-18; Cheng Wen Hsing-Chien Yu Chin (Tai) bt Fong Chew Yen-Mooi Hing Yau 21-14, 21-13.
Mixed Doubles 2nd Rd: Lim Khim Wah-Wong Pei Tty bt Hoon Thien How-Amelia Anscelly 21-17, 21-18; Robert Blair (Eng)-Imogen Bankier bt Razif Latif-Chong Sook Chin 21-16, 21-15.