JAKARTA – Former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkifli pulled off a pleasant upset by beating Taiwan’s world number six Chou Tien Chen 21-5, 22-20 in the first round of the World Championships at Istora Senayan, here last night.
Zulfadli, drawn in the top half of the draw which includes top seed and world number one Chen Long, will next meet Ireland’s Scott Evans who had beaten Finland’s Heino Eutu.
Barring any upsets, Zulfadli who is ranked 38th in the BWF ranking, is expected to meet Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto or Wei Nan of Hong Kong in the third round.
Malaysia’s other representative in the men’s singles, Datuk Lee Chong Wei who is drawn in the bottom half that include China’s Lin Dan, will see action tomorrow when he takes on Navickas Kestutis from Lithuania.
“I went into the match as the underdog since Tien Chen is the world number six and ranked much higher than me,” said Zulfadli who is playing in his first World Championships.
In the women’s singles, Tee Jing Yi beat Jeanine Cicognini from Italy 21-13, 21-8 to move into the second round but Lydia Cheah was shown the exit by Ozge Bayrak from Turkey (23-25, 13-21).
Apart from the singles, one mixed doubles pair and three women’s doubles pairs made it to the second round.
Zulfadli Zulkifli bt Chou Tien Chen 21-5, 22-20
Lydia Cheah (MAS) lost to Ozge Bayrak (TUR) 23-25, 13-21; Tee Jing Yi bt Jeanine Cicognini (ITA) 21-13, 21-8
Amelia Alicia Anscelly/Soong Fie Cho (MAS) bt Gabriela Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva (CZE) 21-8, 21-9
Joyce Choong Wai Chi-Yap Chen Wen (MAS) bt Victoria Dergunova-Olga Morozova (RUS) 21-18, 21-12
Lim Yin Loo-Lee Meng Yean (MAS) bt Vanessa Neo-Shinta Mulia Sari (SIN) 19-21, 22-20, 21-19
Tan Aik Quan/Lai Pei Jing (MAS) bt Vitalij Durkin-Nina Vislova (RUS) 15-21, 21-15, 2-3 (walkover)
Tan Chee Tean-Shevon Lai (MAS) lost to Ronan Labar-Emillie Lefe (FRA) 18-21, 20-22 –BERNAMA