PETALING JAYA: National men’s singles shuttler Ng Tze Yong is still searching for an important breakthrough this year in his bid to reach a higher level.
And singles coaching director Wong Choong Hann believes that Tze Yong is not too far away.
On Thursday, world No. 28 Tze Yong came close to causing a big upset in the second round of the ongoing Indonesian Masters in Jakarta against India’s world No. 12 Lakshya Sen before narrowly losing 21-19, 8-21, 17-21.
It was the 22-year-old’s third exit in a row in the early rounds of tournaments this year after bowing out of the Malaysian and Indian Opens in what has been a steep learning curve so far.
Tze Yong had also went down fighting in three games in the second round of the home tourney to Japan’s world No. 7 Kodai Naraoka.
Choong Hann admitted that the loss to Lakshya in Indonesia was a missed opportunity for his charge.
“Tze Yong could have won the match but somehow he didn’t make it. I believe that he’s getting nearer to the top players and he will get a breakthrough soon,” said Choong Hann.
“So far, I don’t think he has fared badly. He just needs a breakthrough to raise himself to a higher level.’’
Tze Yong will next turn his attention to the Thailand Masters in Bangkok from Jan 31-Feb 5.
Choong Hann feels that the youngster has a good opportunity to progress deep into the tournament.
“He has a fair chance of doing well in Bangkok.
“He must keep his composure and not let the narrow loss to Lakshya affect him,” said Choong Hann.
Tze Yong should win his opening match against Brazil’s Ygor Coelho and will likely face South Korea’s world No. 37 Heo Kwang-hee in the second round.
Meanwhile, the other Malaysians in the fray are Soong Joo Ven, Cheam June Wei, Leong Jun Hao, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin and Yeoh Seng Zoe.