KUALA LUMPUR: Youngster Lim Chiew Sien is the lowest-ranked women’s singles player but she pulled off an upset win to make a strong claim for a place in the Uber Cup Finals.
On Monday, the world No. 204 Chiew Sien defeated former international and national No. 2 Sannatasah Saniru 21-12, 21-17 on the first day of the selection trials at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara.
Chiew Sien and world No. 78 Sannatasah are two of the four women’s singles players competing in the trials. Two others involved in the round- robin format are world No. 103 Yang Li Lian and world No. 182 Lim Yin Fun.
Only the top three after the completion of Wednesday’s trials will join world No. 48 Tee Jing Yi for the Finals in New Delhi from May 18-25.
Chiew Sien, who will turn 20 on May 14, was pleased as punch over her good start.
“I played in the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) last week, but went down fighting to Eriko Hirose of Japan (21-23, 12-21). It was one of my better matches and I came into today’s trials with a positive mindset,” said Chiew Sien.
“This is only my second meeting with Sannatasah. I was 16 when I first played against her at the 2010 Malaysia Games (Sukma) and I upset her in the quarter-finals.
“I don’t get much chance to compete overseas, so my world ranking is not very impressive. Hopefully, a good showing here will land me a spot in my first Uber Cup,” she added.
National women’s singles coach Wong Tat Meng is banking on the team to reach the quarter-finals in the Finals.
Malaysia are drawn in Group D with Japan, Denmark and Germany.
“I am glad that Sannatasah showed up for the trials. She has played in 12 tournaments while the other players have competed in fewer than eight. That’s why the players’ world rankings differ a lot,” said Tat Meng.
“The standard of all the four players is about the same. Through these trials, I believe we will be able to pick the best players.
“Jing Yi is very consistent and with good doubles players, I hope we can make it to the top eight in the Finals. Japan are the favourites, but I believe we can get the better of Denmark and Germany.”
There are four doubles pairs – Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Choo, Ng Hui Lin-Ng Hui Ern and Lim Yin Loo-Lee Meng Yean – vying for spots in the Finals. Only three pairs will be selected.