PETALING JAYA: National shuttler Cheam June Wei has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals on the World Tour, but there’s an opportunity for him to break the duck.
The 24-year-old booked his place in the last eight of the Spain Masters after surviving a second-round scare against world No. 57 Felix Burestedt of Sweden in Huelva yesterday.
June Wei had to bounce back from an opening game loss before taming his opponent 14-21,21-15,21-16 in 66 minutes.
It was certainly a good wake-up call for him ahead of his anticipated encounter against top seed and world No. 19 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia today.
Shesar is also through after making short work of Germany’s Max Weisskirchen 21-15,21-17.
June Wei was soundly beaten 13-21,7-21 by Shesar the last time they met in the quarter-finals of the Indonesian International Challenge, but that was four years ago.
June Wei will be eager to capitalise on the absence of top shuttlers and make his mark this week.
The last time he reached the quarter-finals was at the 2019 Taiwan Open, battling admirably before going down 11-21,21-15,17-21 to eventual champion Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan.
He also featured in the last eight of the Thailand Masters in early 2019 where he also put up an energetic display in his 21-14,16-21,8-21 defeat to China’s now-retired two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan.
Meanwhile in the women’s doubles, Yap Cheng Wen and Anna Cheong have made a winning start to their new partnership when they defeated Germany’s 19-21,21-6,21-17 in a 69 minute hard-fought battle.
They are mostly likely going to face top seeds Amalie Magelund-Freja Ravn for a place in the semi-finals.
(Matches involving Malaysians only)
Men’s singles: Cheam June Wei (Mas) bt Felix Burestedt (Swe) 14-21,21-15,21-16.
Women’s doubles: Anna Cheong-Yap Cheng Wen (Mas) bt Annabella Jaeger-Stine Kuspert (Ger) 19-21,21-6,21-17.
Men’s singles: Ng Tze Yong (Mas) bt Raul Must (Est) 21-14,21-12.