Hafiz stuns Sung-hwan to reach Taiwan Open quarters

PETALING JAYA: Shuttler Mohd Hafiz Hashim stunned Korean No. 1 Park Sung-hwan to reach the quarter-finals of the Taiwan Open yesterday.

The Malaysian, who is on a trail to revive his flagging career, beat the second seed 21-15, 21-18 in a third round match to set up a match against Indonesian Andre Kurniawan Tedjono.

Earlier in the day, Hafiz survived a scare before prevailing with a 21-10, 15-21, 21-17 win over Japanese Koichi Saeki 21-10, 15-21, 21-17 in the second round.

Coach Hendrawan hoped that Hafiz would keep up with his resurgent form.

“Maybe, it is still too early to hope for something big from Hafiz,” said the Indonesian in a telephone interview.

“But at least, he is heading in the right direction. I see a little bit more spirit in his approach. Let’s hope that he will keep it up with this new found enthusiasm.”

Malaysia have another player in today’s quarter-finals. Veteran Wong Choong Hann defeated Hong Kong’s Hu Yun 21-16, 19-21, 21-16 and will play against Liu Chih-lun of Taiwan for a place in the semi-finals.

In the men’s doubles, Malaysia have three pairs in the quarter-finals. They are Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah, Ong Soon Hock-Hoon Thien How and Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen and they will be up against Tony Gunalwan-Howard Bach (US), Hwang Ji-man-Shin Baek-cheol (Kor) and Alven Yulianto-Hendra Gunawan (Ina) respectively.

Malaysia will also have one representative each in the women’s singles (Lydia Cheah vs Sato Sayaka of Japan), women’s doubles (Ng Hui Lin-Goh Liu Ying vs Gao Ling-Wei Yili of China) and mixed doubles (Chan Peng Soon-Liu Ying vs Muhammad Rijal-Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia).

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