By Hilary Sebastian
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 (Bernama) — World No. 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei advanced to the second round of the Malaysian Open badminton championships after defeating Indonesian Andre Kurniawan Tedjono in straight sets at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here, today.
Chong Wei playing his first international match this year, had to struggle against the newcomer before chalking up a 21-17, 21-18 win.
“Its normal, any top player will struggle initially in a new season,” Chong Wei said, adding the win had boosted his confidence to lift the title.
He will meet Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam tommorow
Meanwhile, Muhammad Hafiz Hashim too was forced to work extra hard to earn a 21-13, 19-21, 22-20 win against Japan’s Sasaki Sho and book a meeting with Simon Santoso of Indonesia in the second round.
Two Malaysian elite back-up players Kuan Beng Hong and Daren Liew were also impressive today.
Beng Hong beat Ng Wei of Hong Kong 21-11, 21-16 to meet fifth seed Korean Park Sung Hwan in the second round while Daren Liew pulled out an upset defeating seventh seed Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand 24-22, 19-21, 21-17. He will take on Hsueh Hsuan Yi of Taiwan tommorow.
However, Hafiz’s elder brother, Muhammad Roslin was beaten by Sridhar Anup of India 17-21, 14-21 while Wong Choong Hann was tamed by second seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro 21-16, 21-16.
In the women’s singles, the country’s second top shuttler Julia Wong Pei Xian easily defeated Vietnam’s Le Ngoc Nguyen Nhung 21-17, 21-16 to book a second round clash with eighth seed Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria.
Lydia Cheah too qualified after defeating team-mate Sonia Cheah 21-17, 21-15.
Tommorow, she will take on seventh seed Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong.