PETALING JAYA: Patience is paying off for national men’s singles shuttler Ng Tze Yong (pic).
He had to spend his first seven months with the senior team since January this year without competing in a single tournament because his ranking was just too low.
Instead of being upset, the 19-year-old spent the time focused in training – and is now reaping the result of his hard work.
He reached the semi-finals of the Indonesian International Challenge in Magelang last week – his best result in the last four tournaments he had competed in the last two months.
Tze Yong beat four home opponents, including second seed and 2016 world junior silver medallist Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo in the last eight, before his gallant run was ended by another Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro on Saturday.
He went down fighting 18-21,17-21 to the former world No. 3 and 2004 Athens Olympics bronze medallist in 46 minutes.
Tze Yong rated the semi-final finish in Indonesia as a better achievement than the title he won at the South Australia International last month.
“I’m very happy not just for the results but also how I played, ” said Tze Yong, who will compete in the Malaysian International Challenge next.
“This is the hardest of all the four tournaments I entered to date, the standard in Indonesia is way higher than in Australia.
“Playing Indonesian opponents in their own backyard is always tough. I played not just one, but five of them!
“I really enjoyed my win against Chico, who’s the last year’s champion. I had to play the right tactics to beat him, who is ranked higher than me.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past Sony. I could have beaten him if I had more experience but still, it was a valuable outing for me.
“I’ve learned how to manage the tricky shuttle speed at the venue and turn it into my favour.”
Now ranked 242nd in the world, Tze Yong’s fine outing in Indonesia is expected to propel him into the top 180 when the Badminton World Federation (BWF) update their ranking list today.
His seniors – Tan Jia Wei and Leong Jun Hao, however, flopped in Indonesia.
Jia Wei lost to unheralded Abdul Kadir Zailani of Indonesia in the second round while Jun Hao, who is still rusty since coming back from an injury lay-off, was beaten by Singapore’s Jason Teh in the third round.
Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin also crashed out in the third round to last year’s Asian Junior Championships bronze medallist Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay of Indonesia.
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