Taiwanese hurdle too steep for Roy King-Arif in first round of Korean Masters


Agonising loss: Roy King (right) and Arif went down fighting to Taiwan’s Ming Che-lu-Tang Kai-wei 21-14, 16-21, 21-23.

PETALING JAYA: Shuttlers Yap Roy King-Wan Arif Wan Junaidi narrowly missed out on a place in the men’s doubles second round of the Korean Masters.

World No. 63 Roy King-Arif went down fighting to Taiwan’s Ming Che-lu-Tang Kai-wei 21-14, 16-21, 21-23 in their opening match in Gwangju yesterday.

Roy King, who was making his return from a right ankle injury, got off to a good start with Arif by storming into a 14-8 lead in the first game.

The pair did not take their foot off the pedal to wrap up the game comfortably.

The Taiwanese pair, though, refused to give up and led almost all the way in the second game to win.

The third game was a closer affair where Roy King-Arif managed to save two match points at 18-20 down but could not score the two points needed to win the match.

It was the pair’s third defeat to world No. 70 Che-lu-Kai-wei after also coming out second best to the latter in the Denmark Masters in June and Taiwan Masters in September.

Roy King, though, has another chance in the tournament when he plays in the mixed doubles with Valeree Siow.

Roy King-Valeree, who are currently ranked No. 49 in the world, will take on Taiwan’s world No. 38 Lee Jhe-huei-Hsu Ya-ching in the first round today.

Meanwhile, independent pair Lwi Sheng Hao-Jimmy Wong’s campaign is over after they lost 8-21, 11-21 to third seeds Jhe-huei and Yang Po-hsuan.

Four other Malaysian pairs - Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin-Rumsani, Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong, Tan Wee Kiong-Nur Azriyn Ayub and Boon Xin Yuan-Wong Tien Ci - will play their opening round matches today.

World No. 24 Sze Fei-Izzuddin and recent KL Masters runners-up Hang Yee-Eng Cheong will take on home qualifiers Choi Hyuk-gyun-Kim Jae-hwan and Taiwan’s Lee Fang-chih-Lee Fang-jen respectively.

Xin Yuan-Tien Ci face an uphill battle against another Taiwanese pair, reigning Olympic champions Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin while Wee Kiong-Azriyn will meet Japanese qualifiers Tori Aizawa-Yuto Noda. (Malaysians only)First roundMen’s doubles: Ming Che-lu-Tang Kai-wei (Tpe) bt Yap Roy King-Wan Arif Wan Junaidi 14-21, 21-16, 23-21; Lee Jhe-huei-Yang Po-hsuan (Tpe) bt Lwi Sheng Hao-Jimmy Wong 21-8, 21-11.

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