Iskandar marches on in quest to land back-to-back titles

  • Badminton
  • Saturday, 10 Aug 2019

PETALING JAYA: Independent shuttler Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin (pic) has edged closer to his second title in as many tournaments after storming into the semi-finals of the Hyderabad Open in India.

The 28-year-old Iskandar beat last year’s World Junior Championships silver medallist Bai Yupeng of China 21-16, 12-21, 21-13 to extend his unbeaten streak to nine matches yesterday. He will also be aiming to add a second title to his collection after his victory in the Russian International Challenge last month.

It was the second time Iskandar made it to the last four of a World Tour event this year after the Lingshui China Masters in March.

Iskandar will play Sourabh Verma of India for a place in the final.

Mixed doubles pair Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See are the other Malaysians to have reached the last eight after overcoming teammates Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei 21-16, 21-19 on Thursday.

National team duo Cheam June Wei and Tan Jia Wei were also in action this week but both were eliminated in the second and third rounds respectively.

June Wei did well to beat last year’s Asian Junior champion Lakshya Sen of India but fell at the next hurdle to Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo.

Jia Wei had also impressed by ousting homesters R.M.V Gurusaidutt and H. S. Prannoy, a former world No. 8, prior his last-16 defeat to Ajay Jayaram of India.

In the women’s doubles, Pearly Tan Koong Le-M. Thinaah gave a good account of themselves before bowing out of the competition.

They gave top seeds Ashwini Ponnappa-N. Sikki Reddy of India a major scare before losing 13-21, 21-13, 16-21 in the first round on Wednesday.

It was an impressive display as they were only playing in their second tournament together since their winning debut at the Malaysian International Series in June.

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