Badminton

Published: Sunday December 29, 2013 MYT 9:22:00 PM
Updated: Sunday December 29, 2013 MYT 9:37:09 PM

Easy does it for Zulfadli in hunt for glory

Ex-junior world champ Zulfadli Zulkifli, who lost to Chong Wei Feng in the semi-finals of the National Grand Prix Finals on Sunday, wants to take his time in chasing honours with Malaysia. - BERNAMA

Ex-junior world champ Zulfadli Zulkifli, who lost to Chong Wei Feng in the semi-finals of the National Grand Prix Finals on Sunday, wants to take his time in chasing honours with Malaysia. - BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA: Independent shuttler Zulfadli Zulkifli wants to represent the country in major events like the Thomas Cup Finals but he intends to do it at his own pace. 

On Sunday, the former world junior champion Zulfadli ended his topsy turvy season this year with a 8-21, 17-21 defeat to Chong Wei Feng in the men's singles semi-final of the National Grand Prix Finals at Precint 11 Sports Complex. 

The 20-year-old Zulfadli is currently ranked 59th in the world and his best outing this year was a semi-final finish at the Russian Open and a last eight appearance in the London Grand Prix Gold. 

Zulfadli is one of the outsiders with a chance of representing Malaysia in major tournaments next year. The other non-BAM players in the running are Misbun Ramdan Misbun and Tan Chun Seang. 

"I want to play in these major tournaments but I do not want to be overly worried about it. I want to take one tournament at a time," he said. 

"Two years ago, everyone was pushing for me to represent the country at the Thomas Cup Finals in 2010 because I had just won the world junior title. It had put so much of undue pressure on me. I do not want to go through the same road. 

"I want to do it at my pace. I want to do well in Open tournaments first and build my confidence from there. I want to focus on Malaysian Open next (Jan 15-19)," said Zulfadli, who will start from the qualifying tournament of the Premier Super Series. 

On his overall performances this season, Zulfadli said: "Currently, I am nursing a tendon tear on my left foot. Sometimes, I struggle with injuries. 

"Overall though, I think, I showed some improvement this year. There may not be any outstanding results but I am more mature as a player now. I just need more time to be more established as a player."

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