Professional singles player Soong Joo Ven lived up to his top billing to advance into the quarterfinals of the men’s singles of the Top Glove Purple League Pro Am 2020 here in Putrajaya.
However, Joo Ven was made to work hard when he had to play up to four sets before winning 3-1 (11-10, 11-7, 10-11, 11-8) over Misbun Ramdan Misbun – the son of national badminton legend Misbun Sidek.
But the focus of the men’s singles competition is on the performance of disabled player Cheah Liek Hou, who confirmed his slot into the quarterfinals.
Liek Hou was eager to prove his ability on court when he defeated Muhd Naim Ahmad Fairuzly in five sets 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9.
“I am less skilled with the 11-point system and it disturbed me a little but I still maintained focus to win the points by taking advantage of the opponent’s mistakes.
“I was lucky to be able to take part in this competition even though this meet is for able-bodied athletes. But with the shortcomings that I have, I don’t know how far I can progress in this tournament.
“I do not want to set any target but just focus one game at a time,” said Liek Hou, who hoped that the COVID-19 pandemic would end soon as his mission was to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan.
In the quarterfinals, Like Hou will face Mohamed Izzuddin, who defeated ¾ seed Tan Jia Wei 3-2 (11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5).
Also advancing to the quarterfinals, was second seed Iskandar Zulkarnain who recorded a straight set 3-0 victory (11-4 11-3 11-6) over Tah Zi Yi.
In another match, Zuhelmi Zulkifli won 11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6, over Lye Jun Yew while Lim Chi Wing drew a surprise after beating ¾ seed Yeoh Seng Zoe 11-8, 11-10, 5-11, 11-6.
Tan Ming Kang also secured a slot into the quarterfinals after recovering from a defeat in the first set to beat Chea Cheng Xiang 6-11 11-5 6-11 11-8 11-7.