Bangkok: The Malaysian men’s team opened the Thomas Cup finals in Bangkok with a clean 5-0 sweep against England on Monday.
In the first men’s singles match, Lee Zii Jia (World No. 6) defeated Toby Penty (World No. 53) 21-10, 21-15 to give Malaysia a 1-0 lead.
The first men’s doubles match followed between Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik (World No. 2) and Ben Lane/Sean Vendy (World No. 20) was stretched to a marathon of three sets, where Chia/Soh eventually found a way to victory topping the England pair 19-21, 21-15, 21-16.
Ng Tze Yong (World No. 46) of Malaysia started in the second men’s singles match against Johnnie Torjussen (World No. 202). Despite losing the second game, Ng came back with a vengeance and brought the winning point to the Malaysian team by beating Torjussen 21-16, 19-21, and 21-11.
Malaysia was then represented in the second men’s doubles competition by Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin (World No. 14) as they saw off Rory Easton/Zach Russ (World No. 73) 21-13, 21-9.
Leong Jun Hao (World No. 124) then concluded the proceeding by overcoming Cholan Kayan (World No. 508) 21-11, 21-18 in the third men’s singles match to give Malaysia a 5-0 victory.
The Malaysia Thomas Cup team will meet the United States on Tuesday before facing Japan in the final Group D action on Wednesday.
Lee Zii Jia told Malaysian media that he would probably not be playing in the tie between Malaysia and USA as he wanted to get enough rest before facing Kento Momota in the tie between Japan and Malaysia on Wednesday.
“Momota’s game has been a bit unstable lately,” said Lee.
“However, he is still a very dangerous player. We don’t know when he will be able to return to his true level of performance but no matter what, I can’t underestimate his ability,” added Lee.
Japan beat USA 5-0 in their first Group D tie on Monday. Kenta Nishimoto took Momota’s place as the first men’s singles for Japan.
In other Thomas Cup group stage competitions, defending champions Indonesia beat Thailand 4-1 and will take on Korea who outlasted Singapore 3-2 in the Group A actions on Monday.