National back-up player Iskandar Zulkarnain, who missed last year's Malaysian Open due to a motorcycle accident, hopes to make an impact in this year's edition from the qualifying round on Tuesday. - Filepic
BUKIT JALIL: Top singles back-up shuttler Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin is ready to soak in the experience of playing in his first Maybank Malaysian Open at Putra Stadium on Tuesday.
After missing out on the opportunity to play at home last year due to a freak motorcycle accident, Iskandar is ready to shine at home.
He will take on his younger compatriot - Asian junior champion Soo Teck Zhi in the opening round of the qualifying tournament.
And if he makes it to the main draw, he is set to play Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk.
“I qualified last year but had to withdraw because of an accident. Now, I finally get to play inside this huge Putra Stadium. I aim to make the main draw,” said Iskandar.
The 22-year-old is determined to take his career to the next level this year.
“I want to become a champion in one or two tournaments this year and I want to break into the top 30 and show that the back-up shuttlers are improving by the year,” added the world No. 68th player.
The others to start from the qualifying tournament today are Goh Soon Huat, Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Tan Chun Seang, Zulfadli Zulkifli and Chan Kwong Beng.