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SPORTS

Thomas Cup: M’sia’s understrength team demolishes USA for q/final slot

10/05/2022 07:14 PM

From Amiril Muttaqien Meketar

BANGKOK, May 10 (Bernama) -- No big guns, no problem.

Malaysia made the cut into the quarter-finals of 2022 Thomas Cup Finals here, thanks to their understrength squad’s 5-0 triumph over the United States of America (USA) in the second Group D match today.

Despite the absence of main singles, Lee Zii Jia as well as number one doubles, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik who were rested today, Malaysia were equally lethal in trouncing the American team in Impact Arena, here.

Malaysia’s first singles, Liew Daren, who made his first return to Thomas Cup since 2014 final match, posted a convincing first set victory against Enrico Asuncion, 21-13.

The veteran shuttler then survived some nervy moments before successfully claiming the first point for the country with a 21-16 win in the second game.

“It was great to be back in Thomas Cup after eight long years but I think I did not play well just now, it was always tough to go as the first singles.

“I hope this will be a good warm-up should I get a chance to play again against Japan in the last group match tomorrow,” he told Bernama when met after the match.

After beating Johnnie Torjussen 21-16, 19-21, 21-11, against England in the first group match yesterday, rising star, Ng Tze Yong, maintained his clean record by securing his second win in a row in this tournament against Don Henley Averia.

Tze Yong, ranked 46th in the world, was truly in his element from start to finish to score the second point for Malaysia by ousting the world number 307, 21-11, 21-9.

Another young player, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin, who made a debut in Thomas Cup after he was not given any minutes in the Aarhus edition last October, confirmed the winning point for Malaysia after getting past William Hu, 21-16, 21-17 in just 30 minutes.

Aidil Sholeh, who was elated to make his first Thomas Cup appearance today,  admitted that he was struggling to get the rhythm which saw him fought toe-to-toe with William and vowed to do better if he plays against Japan tomorrow.

Scratch pair, Chia Weijie-Goh Sze Fei did not have any problem subduing Adrian King-Sun Mar-Henry Tang 21-12, 21-8 for Malaysia’s fourth point.

It was a miserable return for Enrico, who formed a partnership with William, as they failed to ward off the challenge from 2021 World Championships bronze medallists, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi after the Malaysian pair wrapped up the tie in straight sets, 21-16, 21-8.

Malaysia will play Japan in a mouthwatering clash to determine the Group D champion while USA will take on England, tomorrow.

-- BERNAMA

 


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