* Wei Feng falls to India’s Ajay Jayaram
* Zulfadli to play unknown Estonian in semis
* V Shem-Wee Kiong to face Thien How-Khim Wah for a place in the final
* Peng Soon-Liu Ying stay alive in mixed doubles
National No 2 Chong Wei Feng stumbled in the quarter-finals in the USD50,000 Russian Open Grand Prix in Vladivostok on Wednesday when he fell to a straight set defeat to India’s Ajay Jayaram 21-15, 21-13 in 30 minutes on Friday.
It was Wei Feng’s first defeat to the Indian, ranked 32 in the world, in three meetings. Still, it was a good showing from the Malaysian, ranked No 40, after suffering first round exits in the Canada Open and Taiwan Open in his last two tournaments after winning the men’s singles gold medal in the SEA Games in Singapore last month.
While the fifth seeded Wei Feng fell by the wayside former Asian and World junior champion Zulfadli Zulkifli (seeded fourth) marched into the semi-finals after a 21-17, 21-9 win over Israel’s Misha Zilberman (No 8 seed) in 48 minutes.
Zulfadli, who play in next month’s World Championships in Jakarta, will face unknown Raul Must of Estonia in the semifinals. The Estonian defeated Russia’s Vladimir Malkov 21-18, 21-14 in his quarter-final match.
Malaysia’s No 1 doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, the No 2 seeds, outplayed Konstantin Abramov-Alexandr Zinchenko of Russia 21-14, 21-17 to set up an all-Malaysia semi-final clash against Hoon Thien How-Lim Khim Wah. The former internationals defeated Russians Nikita Khakimov-Vasily Kuznetsov 21-9, 23-21.
For V Shem-Wee Kiong, the reigning Commonwealth Games champions, reaching the semi-finals to stay on course for their first Open title has given them a big boost for the world championships after a yo-yo run in recent tournaments.
However, it was the end of the road for another independent pair Kook Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong who lost to top seeds and defending champions Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov 21-14, 21-13 32 minutes.
In the mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, ranked No 3 in the world at one time, are also in the semi-finals when they brushed aside Rodion Alimov-Anna Davletova of Russin with a 21-15, 21-19 win.
The Malaysians face third seeds Vitalij Durkin-Nina Visiova of Russia in the semi-finals.
SELECTED RESULTS (Quarter-finals)
Ajay Jayaram (Ind) beat Chong Wei Feng (Mas) 21-15, 21-13
Zulfadli Zulkifli (Mas) beat Misha Zilberman (Isr) 21-17, 21-9
Raul Must (Est) beat Vladimir Malkov (Rus) 21-18, 21-14
Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) beat Pablo Abian (Spn) 21-17, 21-9
Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov (Rus) beat Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (Mas) 21-14, 21-13
Hoon Thien How-Lim Khim Wah (Mas) beat Nikita Khakimov-Vasily Kuznetsov (Rus) 21-9, 23-21
Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) beat Konstantin Abramov-Alexandr Zinchenko (Rus) 21-14, 21-7
Mannu Attri-B. Sumeeth Reddy (Ind) received walkover from Andrej Ashmarin-Vitalij Durkin (Rus)
Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) beat Rodion Alimov-Anna Davletova (Rus) 21-15, 21-19
Akshay Dewalkar-Prajakta Sawant (Ind) beat Ronan Labar-Emilie Lefel (Fra) 21-18, 21-18
Vitalij Durkin-Nina Visiova (Rus) beat Gaeton Mittelheisser-Audrey Fontaine (Fra) 21-15, 21-12