Leong Jun Hao was not discouraged despite his quarter-finals defeat to Viktor Axelsen in Singapore, saying he has taken many positives from the defeat to the world number one to improve at his next event.

The Malaysian had his moments against the in-form Dane who also won last week’s Malaysia Masters, but ultimately fell to a 12-21, 11-21 loss.

But Leong had the country talking about his sublime performance against Singapore Open champion Anthony Ginting, which he beat in the second round on Thursday to meet Axelsen.

“It was a tough match, bu there’s a lot of positives which I gained from playing Axelsen, which I will look to improve on for the next tournament in Indonesia. I will recover as much as possible to go over there again,” he told broadcaster SPOTV.

The world number 36 is showing his mettle to challenge top players in top-tier tournaments, and has managed to build on his encouraging showing since last month’s Thomas Cup.

Leong’s progress certainly comes as a much-welcomed boost for the country’s men’s singles event, with Lee Zii Jia also showing a spike in quality in recent weeks.

The 24-year-old has mentioned he will head to the Indonesia Open next, where he currently sits on the reserve list.

If there are pullouts at the team managers next week, Leong should make the cut.

The Malaysian contingent saw their challenge end in the quarter-finals in Singapore after Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik all lost.