It was a sad day for Malaysian shuttlers in the men’s singles when none of the six contenders got past the first round in the USD150,000 Macau Open in Macau China on Wednesday.
Former national shuttler Iskandar Zulkarmain Zainuddin was the first to fall when he went down to Thai veteran Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk who won 21-12, 23-25, 21-15 in a titanic 92-minute battle.
Another Thai, fifth seed Sitthikom Thammasin next took down Soong Joo Ven 17-21, 21-8, 21-11 in 67 minutes. Cheam June Wei was next to follow when he went down 16-21, 16-21 to Korea’s Lee Dong Keun.
Soo Teck Zhi was involved in a close-fought 65-minute encounter against Chi Yu Jen of Chinese Taipei in his 13-21m 22-20, 20-22 defeat. Frenchman Brice Leverdez came on court to shoot down Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin 21-13, 14-21, 21-10 to add more misery.
There was hope in number eight seed Liew Daren but the Malaysian professional was shown the exit by Indonesian youngster Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo who won 21-16, 21-18.
Amid the gloom men’s doubles, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin advanced to the second round with a straight-game 21-14, 21-17 win over Lam Wai Lok-Li Kuen Hon of Hong Kong China and will face Koreans Na Sung Seung-Wang Chang for a place in the quarter-finals.
Independent pair Arif Abdul Latif-Nur Azriyn Ayub also advanced with a 21-23, 21-18, 27-25 win over Chang Yee Jun-Tee Kai Wan in an all-Malaysian encounter. They face top seeds Li Jun Hui-Liu Yuchen of China next.
Walkovers in the first round saw two Malaysian women’s doubles pairs advance to the second round. Pearly Tan Koong Le-M. Thinaah was given a free ride by fifth seeds Emile Lefel-Anne Tran of France. They face Indonesia’s Siti Fadia Ramadhanti-Ribka Sugiarto in the second round.
Anna Cheong Ching Yik-Lim Chiew Sien received a walkover from compatriots Cheah Yee See-Peck Yen Wei and will take on No 3 seeds Li Wen Mei-Zheng Yu of China for a place in the last eight. RIZAL ABDULLAH