Palembang: For the first time in many months, Daren Liew looked truly at ease and confident on the badminton court. He was precise and resilient, defeating sixth seed Sai Praneeth of India 21-15 21-16 in the quarter-finals of Indonesian Masters GPG.
Daren will set up a semifinal clash with Praneeth’s sparring partner – fifth seed HS Prannoy, who finished runners-up at the USD 50,000 Vietnam Grand Prix in Hochiminh City last week. Prannoy defeated homester Riyanto Subagja 21-13 21-19 in another quarterfinal match. Prannoy had a 1-0 advantage in career matches against Daren by defeating the Malaysian shuttler at 2012 Malaysia Open GP Gold.
“Praneeth won a hard-fought third round match yesterday, and I took full advantage of his tiredness today to clinch the victory, “said Daren.
“I am expecting the semi-final to be a tough match, because I’ve lost to Prannoy before. I’ll need to be more focused,” added Daren.
Meanwhile, former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli of Malaysia his quarter-final match to breeze past Singaporean Huang Chao 21-15 21-14 in 38 minutes. Zulfadli hoped his performance in the tournament so far would be a “stepping stone” to more success.
“This was my best result in a GP Gold tournament. I managed to reduce my mistakes and to play good defense against my opponent. I hope I can maintain my form all the way to the final,” said Zulfadli.
Zulfadli will take on Firman Abdul Kholik of Indonesia in the semi-final.
Women’s doubles underdog – Lee Meng Yean-Chow Mei Kuan of Malaysia registered a crushing win against second seeds Olga Golovanova-Viktoriia Vorobeva of Russia 21-13, 21-4 to book a ticket to the semi-finals. They will face 4th seeds Indonesian Kesya Nurvita Hanadia-Dewi Tika Permatasari next. In mixed doubles, Lee Meng Yean and Ong Jian Guo failed to find an answer for Indonesian pair – Afiat Yuris Wirawan-Komala Dewi, bowing out 18-21, 17-21 in 37 minutes.
The only Malaysian men’s doubles pair left – Chooi Kah Ming-Teo Kok Siang also exited from the tournament on Friday. They’ve suffered a quarter-final loss to Selvanus Geh-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia 16-21, 11-21 in 34 minutes.