The number 15 featured prominently for Malaysian professional Liew Daren as he marched into the main draw in the men’s singles in the USD400,000 Perodua Malaysia Masters on Tuesday.
The former Thomas Cupper won both his qualifying round matches by 21-15, 21-15 margins. He started the day at the Axiata Arena with a win over India’s Subhankar Dey and followed it up by knocking out China’s Zhao Junpeng in 32 and 35 minutes respectively.
In the main draw Liew Daren, who was a semi-finalist in the last two editions, faces sixth seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia.
While Liew Daren advanced, Soong Joo Ven, who is one of the seven players axed by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) from the national squad on Friday, failed to make the main draw.
Joo Ven cleared his first hurdle when he pulled off a 21-8, 17-21, 21-15 win over Hong Kong veteran Vincent Wong Wing Ki. However, he fell at the next hurdle in another three-game battle against Japan’s Koki Watanabe.
The Japanese won the 61-minute battle against Joo Ven 21-16, 16-21, 21-11.
Others who made the main draw were Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus and China’s Sun Feixiang.
World No 1 Kento Momota of Japan is the top seed while Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei is the second seed in the Super 500 event which kickstarts the 2020 season.
Both have drawn Indian opponents in the first round with Momota against P. Kashyap while Tien Chen faces K. Srikanth. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH