Sydney: Men’s singles No. 1 seed Chen Long of China cruised through to the quarter-finals at the Australian Open Super Series as the World No. 2 men’s singles player wasted little time in dismissing Malaysia’s former World junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli 21-17, 21-12 in 48 minutes on Thursday.
The reigning World Champion Chen Long who won the Australian Open last year, will take on Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the next round.
In men’s doubles, the 2007 All England men’s doubles champions Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia were in imperious form by defeating World No. 2 men’s pair Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in a 50 minutes thriller.
After dropping their first set 17-21, Koo/Tan fought back to win the second set 21-17. The Malaysian still looked doomed to defeat when they were trailed 6-13 in the decider. However, Koo/Tan showed their resilience as they clawed their way back into the match to tie the score at 17-17 before finally beat the Indonesians 21-19 in the decider.
Koo/Tan will face another Indonesian pair Berry Angriawan/Rian Agung Saputro on Friday. Angriawan/Saputro saw off Malaysia’s top men’s pair Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong 21-14, 21-18 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s top mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying was in ruthless form as they surged through to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open by brushing aside defending champions Hong Kong’s Reginald Lee Chun Hei/Chou Hoi Wah 21-11, 21-15 in 29 minutes. Chan/Goh will play China’s Liu Yuchen/Tang Jinhua who pulled off an upset against second seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen of Denmark with a 21-18, 21-16 victory.
Malaysia’s challenge in three other events — men’s singles, women’s singles, and also the women’s doubles event — all fizzled out on Thursday after the Malaysians lost to their respective opponents.