PETALING JAYA: National shuttler Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin is set to get more chances to compete in bigger tournaments after a string of impressive performances this year.
The 24-year-old finished as runner-up at the Malaysian Masters in January and impressed at the Asia Team Championships in February, winning all his four matches.
Last week, the world No. 41 did well at the Malaysian Open, defeating two Indonesians – former world No. 4 Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the qualifying rounds and world No. 29 Anthony Ginting in the first round.
Although Iskandar was eventually outclassed by world No. 5 Jan O Jorgensen in the second round, his fighting display has not gone unnoticed.
Chief among them was world No. 4 Lee Chong Wei, who believes that Iskandar is ready to compete in more Superseries events.
“It’s a good to see Iskandar playing well in the Malaysian Open, which is a Superseries Premier event,” said Chong Wei.
“I hope he will get to follow me for more tournaments... it will be good for him.”
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost agrees with Chong Wei. “I believe Iskandar has moved up a tier and will compete in more Superseries and GP Gold events,”
Iskandar’s next outing will be the Asia Badminton Championships (ABC) in Wuhan, China, from April 26-May 1.
The other singles shuttlers at the ABC are Chong Wei and independent shuttler Zulfadli Zulkiffli.
Meanwhile, world No. 40 Zulfadli was the only one to qualify for the main draw of the Singapore Open on Tuesday.
He defeated India’s R.M.V. Gurusaidutt 21-14, 16-21, 21-17 before beating younger brother Zulhelmi 21-14, 21-11 in the second round of the qualifiers to set up a clash with Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie in the first round of the tournament proper.
Three national shuttlers – Goh Soon Huat, Chong Wei Feng and Soo Teck Zhi – crashed out in the first round of the qualifiers.
Did you find this article insightful?