National singles player Tee Jing Yee beat her Hong Kong opponent in straight sets in the first round of the Asian Badminton Championships in South Korea on Wednesday, - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: There may some fight left in the national Uber Cup squad after all.
World No. 49 Tee Jing Yi, who will play first singles for Malaysia in the Uber Cup Finals in new Delhi next month, pulled off a sensational win over world No. 20 Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in the first round of the Asian Badminton Championship (ABC) in Gimcheon, South Korea on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old Jing Yi, who nearly left the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) last year, played her heart out to win 22-20, 21-14.
It was a splendid result for Jing Yi, who has made good progress this year, including winning her first title – the Iran International Challenge – in February.
With Malaysia having been drawn against Japan, Denmark and Germany in Group D of the Uber Cup Finals, which will be held from May 18-25, Jing Yi’s effort may be just what the women shuttlers need.
“It was the first round and there was no pressure on me, so I managed to play my best,” said Jing Yi.
“I think I controlled the game very well and made good attacking shots because my opponent wasn’t moving that well.
“She was not as fast as she used to be ... probably because she had an injury earlier. But I was focused and took advantage of the situation.
“I’m definitely happy with the result although there is still much to improve.”
Jing Yi will now meet Taiwan’s world No. 7 Tai Tzu-ying, who was stretched to three games before ousting China’s Hui Xirui 21-18, 13-21, 21-10 for a place in the quarter-finals.
Inspired by Jing Yi, 19-year-old Lim Yin Fun also made good progress by beating world No. 112 Le Thu Huyen of Vietname 24-22, 21-23, 21-18 in the first round.
World No. 181 Yin Fun, who is also expected to be named in the Uber Cup squad, will face South Korean youngster Kim Hyo-min next.
Another Malaysian women’s singles shuttler, 20-year-old Yang Li Lian, failed to join Jing Yi and Yin Fun in the second round after losing 18-21, 21-15, 19-21 to world No. 27 Pai Hsiao-ma of Taiwan.
In women’s doubles, SEA Games champions Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, whose world ranking has slipped to No. 31, were on fire en route to overcoming Taiwan’s Chiang Kai-hsin-Tsai Pei-ling 21-12, 21-11.
They will now meet fourth seeds Ko A-ra-Yoo Hae-won of South Korea.
“It was a good start for us and we did everything right. We did not expect it to be so easy but the Taiwanese pair made a lot of mistakes,” said Vivian.
World No. 27 Amelia Alicia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho also pulled through after thrashing Hong Kong’s Chan Hung Yung-Yuen Sin Ying 21-10, 21-18.