PETALING JAYA: It was a day to remember for two debutants – Leong Jun Hao and Sim Fong Hau.
The duo have made it to the third round of the boys’ singles event at the World Junior Championships in Bilbao, Spain.
The 12th-seeded Jun Hao, 17, had a first-round bye and needed just 13 minutes to swat aside Georgia’s Grigol Nalgranyan 21-6, 21-5 at the Bilbao Arena on Tuesday.
He is expected to get past Portugal’s Miguel Rocha next and face Indonesia’s Ramadhani Zulkifli in the fourth round.
Fong Hau, who did not play a single match when Malaysia finished runners-up to China in the mixed team event, also passed his first two hurdles with ease.
The Penang-born 17-year-old made short work of Sri Lanka’s Swemina Gunatilleke 21-11, 21-10 before overcoming Brazil’s Jonathan Matias 21-12, 21-17.
Fong Hau should have no problems overcoming Hong Kong’s Chow Hin Long next and set up a possible fourth-round clash against ninth seed Koki Watanabe of Japan.
There was no such luck for Pearly Tan Koong Le, who made her debut in the girls’ singles.
Not only did she blow away a commanding 16-11 lead, Pearly also failed to convert her two match points in the rubber game as she went down 21-19, 20-22, 22-24 to homester Sara Penalver Pereira.
Boys’ singles: Sim Fong Hau bt Sewmina Gunatilleke (Sri) 21-11, 21-10.
Girls’ singles: Sara Penalver Pereira (Spa) bt Pearly Tan Koong Le 19-21, 22-20, 24-22.
Boys’ singles: Sim Fong Hau bt Jonathan Matias (Bra) 21-12, 21-17; Leong Jun Hao bt Grigol Nalgranyan (Geo) 21-6, 21-5.