Drafted in from the reserve list after a couple of withdrawals, National No. 2 Iskandar Zulkarnain seized on the opportunity by qualifying for the main draw of the Perodua Malaysia Masters (PMM2018) presented by Daihatsu which was held at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur Sports City earlier today.
Iskandar replaced Suppanyu Avihingsanon in the qualifying rounds as the Thai international was promoted to the main draw due to the last minute pull out of Zulfadli Zulkiffli.
“I was delighted to be included and am happy with my performance today but not quite satisfied yet. The Malaysia Masters has been upgraded and it is a golden opportunity for me to improve my ranking,” said Iskandar.
The World No. 99 defeated French international, Lucas Corvee in the preliminary round before scrapping past Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia in a tired display to progress to the main draw.
“I think the tiredness and fatigue got to me because of the packed match schedule. But my coach gave me the motivation I needed to hang on and give my all. When I was down 5-13 at one point in the game, I thought to myself that it was impossible to comeback from that but I did not give up and continued playing to my strength which is on defence,” said Iskandar.
“I have met (Anders) Antonsen before and beat him on both occasions but he has improved since then so I will have to remain grounded and fully focused for tomorrow’s match,” added the 26-year old.
“I am content with his performances today as it is not easy to achieve qualification with both matches being set so close to one another. But I am glad he was composed throughout to come out victorious,” said national men’s singles head coach, Dato’ Misbun Sidek.
“I told him to not give up so easily and think of all the hard work he has put in to prepare for this tournament. He needed to fight till the very end despite feeling tired and that is what he did,” added Misbun.
He is joined in the main draw by fellow teammate, Soong Joo Ven who performed admirably to defeat Indonesian opponents, Fikri Ihsandi Hadmadi and Sony Dwi Kuncoro.
However, Lim Chi Wing and Cheam June Wei did not get past the first qualifying round, falling to Thomas Rouxel and Liew Daren respectively.
Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik edged Shia Chun Kang and Tan Wee Gieen in all-Malaysian encounter to register themselves in the first round of the PMM2018 men’s doubles category.
In the women’s category, Lim Yin Fun and Lee Ying Ying managed to progress to the main draw after both overcame Indonesian rivals Yulia Yosephin Susanto and Lyanny Alessandra Mainaky in their singles matches while Ho Yen Mei fell behind as she was defeated by French international Delphine Lansac.
Goh Yea Ching and Teoh Mei Xing too qualified to the women’s doubles first round at the expense of Indonesian pair, Cynthia Sara Ayunidha and Ganis Nur Rahmadani who had to retire midway through their match due to an injury to Ganis.
Joining them are Yap Zhen and Lim Chiew Sien who performed exceptionally to defeat the higher ranked Indian pair of Prajakta Sawant and Sanyogita Ghorpade in straight sets despite only playing together on two occasions before the PMM2018.
Meanwhile in the mixed doubles qualifying matches, Chen Tang Jie and Cheah Yee See managed to secure a spot in the main draw as they overwhelmed Indonesians, Riky Widianto and Masita Mahmudin. But Hoo Pang Ron and Peck Yen Wei failed in their qualification bid as they could not get past Ricky Karandasuwardi and Debby Susanto.
Perodua Malaysia Masters 2018 Qualifying Round Results (16 January 2018)
*results involving Malaysian players only
Men’s Singles First Qualifying Round
Iskandar Zulkarnain (MAS) bt Lucas Corvee (FRA) 21-6, 18-21, 21-17
Thomas Rouxel (FRA) bt Lim Chi Wing (MAS) 20-22, 13-21
Soong Joo Ven (MAS) bt Fikri Ihsandi Hadmadi (INA) 21-10, 23-23 Retired
Liew Daren (MAS) bt Cheam June Wei (MAS) 21-18, 21-19
Men’s Singles Final Qualifying Round
Soong Joo Ven (MAS) bt Sony Dwi Kuncoro (INA) 21-19, 21-10
Iskandar Zulkarnain (MAS) bt Hiren Rhustavito (INA) 15-21, 21-15, 21-8
Liew Daren (MAS) bt Kim Bruun (DEN) 21-16, 13-21, 21-7
Men’s Doubles Final Qualifying Round
Aaron Chia- Soh Wooi Yik (MAS) bt Shia Chun Kang-Tan Wee Gieen (MAS) 17-21, 21-15, 21-19
Lim Khim Wah LIM (MAS)-Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) bt Muhammad Fachrikar Adma Parlindungan Man-Reza Dwicahya Purnama (INA) 21-14, 21-14
Women’s Singles Final Qualifying Round
Lim Yin Fun (MAS) bt Yulia Yosephin Susanto (INA) 21-19, 21-17
Delphine Lansac (FRA) bt Ho Yen Mei (MAS) 21-17, 8-21, 21-18
Lee Ying Ying (MAS) bt Lyanny Alessandra Mainaky (INA) 17-21, 22-20, 21-14
Women’s Doubles Final Qualifying Round
Goh Yea Ching-Teoh Mei Xing (MAS) bt Cynthia Shara Ayunidha-Ganis Nur Rahmadani (INA) 21-7, 15-6 Retired
Yap Zhen-Lim Chiew Sien (MAS) bt Prajakta Sawant-Sanyogita-Ghorpade (IND) 22-20, 21-18
Zarra Faza Azka-Brigita Marcelia Rumambi (INA) bt Lim Jee Lynn-Tan Sueh Jeou (MAS) (Walkover)
Mixed Doubles Final Qualifying Round
Chen Tang Jie-Cheah Yee See (MAS) bt Riky Widianto-Masita Mahmudin (INA) 16-21, 21-14 21-15
Ricky Karandasuwardi-Debby Susanto (INA) bt Hoo Pang Ron- Peck Yen Wei (MAS) 21-14, 21-15
Zhang Nan-Liu Xuanxuan (CHN) bt Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif (MAS)-Rusydina Antardayu Riodingin (INA) 21-16, 21-9