PETALING JAYA: It was a case of contrasting fortunes for two singles shuttlers Yeoh Seng Zoe and Ng Tze Yong at the Irish Open.
Former national Under-21 champion Seng Zoe showed that he still has it in him after beating fellow Malaysian Soong Joo Ven 21-11, 10-21, 21-17 to reach the final of the International Challenge-rated meet in Dublin on Friday.
High-flying Tze Yong, however, was brought back down to earth after being handed a quarter-final exit by home favourite Nhat Nguyen.
Tze Yong, who impressed in his Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup Finals debuts recently, lost 16-21, 20-22 to third seeded Nguyen as his bid to reach his third successive final and fourth overall this year went up in smoke.
Prior to the Irish Open, Tze Yong had emerged runner-up at the Czech Open and won the Belgian International last month. He also captured the Polish Open title in March.
For world No. 148 Seng Zoe, his title clash with world No. 72 Mads Christophersen of Denmark will be his first final in two years after coming in runner-up at the Welsh International.
Seng Zoe, who has been playing professionally since leaving the national team in late 2017, is gunning for only his second international title after previously being crowned the Nepal International winner in September 2019.
Despite exiting the last-four stage, Joo Ven gave a good account of himself considering it was only his first competitive outing in eight months.
The world No. 74 last competed in the Orleans Masters in France.
The other notable Malaysians who took part in the men’s singles competition were Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin, Leong Jun Hao and two-time former national champion Lim Chi Wing.
Jun Hao, who was knocked out in the first round by Denmark’s fourth seed Victor Svendsen, has much explaination to do after failing to impress yet again.
He was also an early-round casualty in Belgium and the Czech Republic, losing in the first and second round respectively.
Aidil did well to upset world No. 50 and top seed Ygor Coelho of Brazil in the opening hurdle but failed to build on it as he was sent packing by India’s Chirag Sen in the second round.
Chi Wing, playing in his first tournament in nearly years, made it to the last 16 before being ousted by Svendsen.
Malaysia stand a chance of securing a double joy as Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun are also through to the final of the men’s doubles contest.
Wei Chong-Kai Wun will face England’s Rory Easton-Zach Russ for the title. The latter prevented an all-Malaysian affair after halting Wan Ari Junaidi-Haikal Nazri’s gallant run in the semis.
Wei Chong-Kai Wun will be out to make it three titles in four finals this year after triumphing in the Polish Open and Spanish International earlier.