KUALA LUMPUR, Mac 4 – National No 1 Lee Zii Jia gave his confidence a big boost when he advanced to the second round in the men’s singles in the Yonex Swiss Open with straight games 21-12, 21-14 win over Russia’s Sergey Sirant in Basel on Wednesday.
For a place in the quarter-finals, the 23-year-old Malaysian will need to up his game against Denmark’s Victor Svendsen who upset former Asian Junior champion Lakshya Sen of India 21-16, 21-12.
Malaysia’s two others in the men’s singles – professionals Liew Daren and Soon Joo Ven – fell at the first hurdle. Daren went out to Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoes 12-21, 16-21 while Joo Ven was beaten by Indonesian No 7 seed Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 21-15, 21-10.
There was also a delight for national shuttlers in the men’s doubles. The nation’s top pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik advanced with a 21-13, 21-15 win over Australians Oliver Leydon Davis-Abhinav Manota. They next meet Danish pair Jeppe Bay-Lasse Molhede.
It was a sweet debut for Malaysian debutants Low Han Yee-Ng Eng Cheong. Playing in their first international tournament the young Malaysians did well to oust Dutch pair Ruben Jille-Ties Van Der Lecq in a 49-minute thriller – winning 21-16, 16-21, 21-16.
They have a tough hurdle next when they face fourth-seeded Marcus Ellis-Chris Langridge of England in the second round.
Two professional pairs Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong needed only 33 minutes to make the second round as they packed off Denmark’s Daniel Lundgaard-Mathias Thyrri 21-17, 21-11 and will face Germans Marks Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel for a place in the quarter-finals.
Also in the hunt is another independent pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Eei Yi who came through a three-game battle for a 21-23, 21-12, 21-12 against American siblings Philip Chew-Ryan Chew. In the second round, the Malaysians are up against Danes Joel Eipe-Rasmus Kjaer.
Malaysia’s top women’s doubles Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean defeated England’s Jessica Hopton-Jenny Moore 21-18, 21-13 for a winning start in Basel. Youngsters Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah joined their seniors with an impressive 21-7, 21-6 demolishment of Serena Au Yeong-Katarina Hockmer of Austria in quick 21 minutes.
Soniia Cheah

Recent national discard Soniia Cheah failed to get past the first round in the women singles. Germany’s Yvonne Li staged a strong comeback after dropping the first game for a 15-21, 21-13, 21-16 win over the Malaysian in 56 minutes.

Independent men’s singles player Liew Daren and Soong Joo Ven were also first-round casualties. Daren was shown the exit by Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen who won 21-12, 21-16 while Joo Ven was beaten 21-15, 21-10 by Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito.

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