* Tee Jing Yi also off to a winning start in women’s singles
* Mixed fortunes in mixed doubles
Much has been written about Zulfadli Zulkifl’s World Championships – all negative – and even Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost had written him off.
However, the 22-year-old Zulfadli gave an astonishing performance at the famed Istora Senayan Stadium in Jakarta with a stunning 21-15, 22-20 win over sixth seed Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in a 38 minute first round match.
The way the Malaysian demolished the Taiwanese in the first set with his attacking badminton brought him victory in only 12 minutes. However it was a touch and go affair in the second set as both players battled point for point.
The fast tiring Zulkifli, however, held out for a win although he appeared rattled at 19 all when his challenge was unsuccessful. Tien Chen moved to 20-19 but Zulfadli had that little extra in him to take the set and match at 22-20 when his opponent sent the shuttle into the net.
Frost was quoted as saying “Zulfadli has not given any indication so far this year to show that he is a contender. I don’t think he has any chance of winning the title’.
It was only the first round match but to stop the seasoned campaigner and take the scalp of the sixth seed is certainly a “morale booster” for the former world and asian junior champion.
He faces Ireland’s Scott Evans in the second round on Tuesday. Evans defeated Finland’s Eutu Heina 20-22, 21-9, 21-16 in his first round match.
Malaysia’s top woman shuttler Tee Jing Yi also cleared his first hurdle with a 21-13, 21-18 win over Italy’s Jeanine Cicognini in 26 minutes but faces a tough second round match against top seed and defending champion Carolina Marin of Spain.
Marin drew a first round bye and the hot favourite to retain the title.
Malaysia are banking their hopes on former World No 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei in Jakarta who is unseeded after a drop in his world rankings during his eight month suspension for alleged doping at the last world meet in Copenhagen where he finished runners-up to Chen Long of China.
Two Malaysian pairs in the mixed doubles advanced to the second round. Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying won their first round match but it was the end of the road for Tan Chee Tean-Shevon Jamie La.
In the women’s doubles SEA Games champions Amelia Alicia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho ripped through Czech Republic’s Sarka Krizkova-Katerina Tomalova 21-8, 21-9 in only 21 minutes while Joyce Choong Wai Chi-Yap Cheng Wen defeated Russians Victoria Dergunoiva-Olga Morozova 21-8, 21-12 in a 31 minute match.
Zulfadli Zulkifli (Mas) beat Chou Tien Chen (Tpe) 21-5, 22-20
Kashyap Parupalli (Ind) beat Erik Meijs (Ned) 21-17, 21-10
Wei Nan (Hkg) beat Howard Shu (USA) 21-19, 24-26, 21-18
Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) beat Pablo Aiman (Spn) 21-16, 21-13
Nguyen Tinh Minh (Vie) beat Lee Dong Keun (Kor) 21-13, 20-22, 21-15
Scott Evans (Irl) beat Eetu Heino (Fin) 20-22, 21-9, 21-16
H.S. Prannoy (Ind) beat Alex Yuwan Tjong (Bra) 21-12, 21-16
Tee Jing Yi (Mas) beat Jeanine Cicognini (Ita) 21-13, 21-8
Ozge Bayrak (Tur) beat Lyddia Cheah (Mas) 25-23, 21-13
Linda Zetchiri (Bul) beat Karin Schnaase (Ger) 21-18, 11-21, 21-18
Joyce Choong Wai Chi-Yap Cheng Wen (Mas) beat Victoria Dergunova-Olga Morozova (Rus) 21-18, 21-12
Amelia Alicia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho (Mas) beat Sarka Krizkova-Katerina Tomalova (Czech Re) 21-8, 21-9
Ronan Labar-Emilie Lefel (Fra) beat Tan Chee Tean-Shevon Jamie Lai (Mas) 21-18, 22-20
Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing (Mas) beat Vitalij Durkin-Nina Vislova (Rus) 15-21, 21-15, 2-3 (Rtd)
Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) beat Howard Shu-Eva Lee (USA) 21-19, 21-18