PETALING JAYA: Third time’s the charm for Cheam June Wei (pic) as he finally secured a win as an independent player.
The 24-year-old clinched a hard-fought 19-21, 22-20, 21-17 win over Canada’s Sheng Xiaodong in the first round of the Syed Modi International in Lucknow, India yesterday.
The win will certainly be a morale booster after failing in his earlier two tournaments since quitting the national team.
He lost in the opening hurdles of the World Championships in Huelva, Spain last month and the Indian Open in New Delhi last week.
June Wei will now aim to go as far as possible knowing that he won’t be meeting India’s in-form Lakhsya Sen in the second round.
The Indian Open champion pulled out on the eve of the tournament citing exhaustion.
June Wei will face either Singapore’s Jason Teh or India’s D. Kaushal for a place in the quarter-finals. If he clears his hurdles, there’s a likelihood that he could set up an all-Malaysian affair against Ng Tze Yong in the last four.
Tze Yong is slated to face Thailand’s Adulrach Namkul today and a win will pit him against Ireland’s Nguyen Nhat.
In men’s doubles, Haikal Nazri-Wan Arif Junaidi made a disappointing World Tour debut as they were beaten 18-21, 21-19, 17-21 by B. Ishaan-K. Sai Pratheek.
It was sweet revenge for the Indian pair as they lost to Haikal-Arif in the Ukraine International final in October.
In women’s doubles, Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien proved too strong for their younger compatriots Go Pei Kee-Yap Ling as they won 21-15, 21-12.