Saturday October 27, 2012
Coaches agree shuttler Daren a vastly improved player
PETALING JAYA: National singles coaches Rashid Sidek and Tey Seu Bock believe that elite shuttler Liew Daren is slowly coming out of world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei’s shadow and stamp his mark at the top.
The 25-year-old Daren was in superb form on Thursday as he beat seventh seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong 21-18, 21-19 to move into the quarter-finals of the French Open in Paris.
That was his second successive quarter-final appearance, having bowed out to Chong Wei at the same stage in the Denmark Open last week.
Having switched from being Chong Wei’s sparring partner to training alongside him, Daren seems to have reaped the benefits of it and his quarter-final showings at the All-England and Singapore Open earlier are proof of it.
The lanky KL-born has also made significant headway in the rankings, climbing to a career best 24th in the world after being ranked 60th this time last year.
Still, Rashid and Seu Bock want Daren to keep his head down and continue showing a good attitude in training if he aims to become even better.
“Daren’s game has definitely improved but there are still a lot of weaknesses he needs to work on,” said Rashid.
“For a start, he’s not nearly as consistent enough. Still, I’m quite pleased with him because he has picked up a lot of good values, especially the desire the win.
“I believe that the opportunity of playing in so many tournaments has gradually made him a more matured and better player, although there is still a lot of room for improvement.”
Seu Bock too feels that Daren still needs to work on his fitness – physically and mentally.
“He has definitely improved a lot but mentally he is not strong enough yet,” said Seu Bock.
“He needs to be more focused during crunch times and also work on his fitness.”