PETALING JAYA: Shuttlers Soong Joo Ven and Lim Chi Wing enjoyed contrasting fortunes in the men’s singles first round at the China Masters.
Joo Ven overcame a nervy start to beat Japanese teenager Kodai Naraoka 22-20, 21-11 at the Olympic Sports Centre in Changzhou yesterday.
But two-time national champion Chi Wing was a big letdown as he fluffed his chances and lost 17-21, 21-19, 15-21 to Japanese Yusuke Onodera. It was Chi Wing’s second straight loss to the 21-year-old Onodera after being beaten in straight games in the second round of the Osaka International Challenge last month.
Joo Ven, who is the only Malaysian singles shuttler left in the fray, will take on fifth seed Hsu Jen-hao of Taiwan in today’s second round.
“I was trailing for most of the first game. It was my mental strength that kept me alive,” said Joo Ven, the Scottish Open runner-up.
“I was rather nervous when I started the match. I’m quite lucky to have pulled it off in the end.
“It will be a challenge taking on Jen-hao. I just need to be confident with my game and be well-prepared mentally,” he added.
In the men’s doubles, Chooi Kah Ming-Low Juan Shen will see action today when they take on Japan’s Kohei Gondo-Tatsuya Watanabe in the first round.
Independent players Mohd Razif Latif-Mohd Hafiz Hashim sailed into the second round without lifting their racquets after their Indian opponents M.R.Arjun-Shlok Ramchandran withdrew at the eleventh hour.
Razif-Hafiz will take on either eighth seeds Liao Kuan-hao-Lu Chia-pin of Taiwan or the Malaysian-Indonesian combination of Tan Boon Heong-Hendra Setiawan for a place in the quarter-finals.