It was almost certain for national No.1, Lee Chong Wei to deliver the first point for Malaysia when he played against Chinese Taipei’s ’s top player, Chou Tien Chen and true enough, the former world number one proved it when he outclassed Tien Chen in two games, 21-18, 21-18.
Then, it was Goh V Shem/ Tan Wee Kiong’s turn to contribute the second point but unfortunately, after battling for an hour, the pair was subdued by Lee Sheng Mu/ Tsai Chia Hsin 21-16, 19-21, 19-21 in a match that almost rooted Malaysia to a 3-0 win.
As the points were levelled at 1-1 now, national champion, Iskandar Zulkarnain who was just a sparring player during the 2014 Thomas Cup did not only show the positive transformation in his game play throughout the last two years but also continued his remarkable performance as the second singles for Malaysia.
This time, the world No. 36 demolished Hsu Jen Hao who is twelve rungs higher than him with a convincing score of 21-8, 21-13. Just two days ago, he overcame world No. 16, Lee Dong Keun of Korea in straight games. The 24 year-old Iskandar played very confidently and known for his wittiness on court, he even managed to do a short dance move that got his coaches and teammates giggling.
“Iskandar has always been the entertainer in the group and it was not surprising for us to see him do that short dance move on the court but I have to say that when it comes to his performance, he’s is certainly playing a very matured game and he takes every point very seriously”.
“I am happy that he played well today and it was also good to see that his confidence level has increased especially when he plays against higher ranked players,” said his coach, Tey Seu Bock from Kunshan, China.
The winning point for Malaysia came from former All England champions, Koo Kien Keat/ Tan Boon Heong who were almost stretched to three games but thanks to their vast experience, they managed to wrap up the game despite their opponents, Chen Hung Ling/ Wang Chi-Lin having a 20-19 lead in the second game.
The Malaysians won, 21-16, 22-20 to help Malaysia advance to the last four where they will either meet Japan or Denmark tomorrow.