Soong Joo Ven had no problems clearing his opening round match at the India Open to book an exciting duel against reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew.
Soong only needed 28 minutes to overcome India’s Chirag Sen 21-8, 21-7, and should be grateful for the easy win as he prepares to be on top of his game to face the Singaporean star.
Loh surprisingly lost his opening game 16-21 against Canada’s Xiaodong Sheng but recovered in the next two to win 21-4, 21-13.
Apart from Soong, most Malaysians cleared their first round hurdles with the exception of Cheam June Wei and Lim Kim Wah-Nur Azriyn Ayub.
Cheam, ranked 74th in the world, lost 20-22, 18-21 to Russia’s Sergey Sirant.
Both shuttlers had not met prior to this, and it was expected to be a tight contest with Sirant ranked only two rungs behind the Malaysian.
In the end, the lanky Sirant won in straight games match to condemn Cheam to a third consecutive first-round loss.
In the men’s doubles, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi wrapped up victory in 35 minutes against their Indian opponents, and next face another Indian pair in Utkarsh Arora-Akshan Shetty.
The Malaysian mixed doubles pairs of Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing also won without much fuss.
Lim-Nur Azriyn meanwhile lost to sixth seeds M.R.Arjun-Dhruv Kapila 21-18, 17-21, 15-21.