Tze Yong must work on keeping full focus in a match

Quick rebound?: Ng Tze Yong may get a chance to avenge his loss to India’s Lakhsya Sen (below) at the Syed Modi International.

PETALING JAYA: National shuttler Ng Tze Yong admits he must do better when it comes to maintaining focus during a match.

At the Indian Open last week, Tze Yong was stretched to rubber games in all the four matches he played en route to the semi-finals before being ousted by eventual champion Lakhsya Sen of India.

World No. 60 Tze Yong was involved in a combined 274 minutes of action, with his 20-22, 21-15, 21-18 win over Lucas Claerbout of France in the second round being the longest at 77 minutes.

In the opening game, he held three game points at 20-17 only to allow his opponent to pick up five straight points to seal an early advantage.

The same happened in his first-round clash with Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto too, which he prevailed 21-16, 14-21, 21-5.

Tze Yong appeared to have a good chance at winning in straight games when he led 12-10 in the second, but Tommy stormed back to win 11 points out of the next 13 rallies to force a decider.

Tze Yong said he could have prevented these meltdowns had it not been for lapses in concentration.

“I somehow have the tendency to lose focus in the middle of a match and when my opponent races away, it’s difficult for me to make a comeback,” lamented Tze Yong, who will play in the Syed Modi International in Lucknow starting today.

“I definitely need to address this issue urgently.”

Although feeling tired from last week’s energy-sapping campaign, Tze Yong has vowed to soldier on knowing that he stands a good chance of climbing further up on the world ranking.

Last week’s semi-final outing is expected to propel him into the top 50 when the ranking list is updated today.

“I can feel the tiredness, but I need to hang in there. I must cherish every single tournament I have because you don’t know when the next one will be. The Spain Masters in early March has been cancelled,” said Tze Yong.

Asked if he fancies a rematch with Lakhsya, Tze Yong responded: “I’m not thinking far, there’s plenty of tough hurdles ahead of me before I face Lakhsya, possibly in the semis.

“I gained a lot of confidence from last week, but it’s more important for me to perform consistently.”

Tze Yong will open his campaign against Ajay Jayaram of India and a win should pit him against either fourth seed Sameer Verma of India or Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen, the man he defeated in the quarter-finals last week.

Soong Joo Ven’s chances of clearing the first round have been boosted following the withdrawal of Canada’s Brian Yang, who is down with illness, while Cheam June Wei will want to prove a point after his first-round exit last week.

Malaysia are also represented by Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun, Tan Kian Meng-Tan Wee Kiong, Wan Arif Junaidi-Haikal Nazri, Lim Khim Wah-Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub (men’s doubles); Anna Cheong-Teoh Mei Xing, Yap Ling-Go Pei Kee, Valeree Siow-Low Yeen Yuan (women’s doubles); Chan Peng Soon-Valeree and Indian Open finalists Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei (mixed doubles).

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