Thursday March 14, 2013
Speedy Arif stuns sixth seed Daren in second round
By ASHREENA PILLAI
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Mohd Arif Abdul Latif (pic) pulled off a stunning win over compatriot Liew Daren 21-15, 21-17 in the second round of the Swiss Open in Basel yesterday.
Sixth seeded Daren, who broke into the top 10 of the badminton world rankings last week, was given a rude shock by the speedy Arif who won in 36 minutes.
“I just didn’t play well and Arif was the better player during the match.
“It was great to break into the top 10 but this result shows that I still have a lot of catching up to do and I need to become more consistent,” said Daren.
It was Daren’s second loss to Arif who also beat the former in the quarter-finals of the 2011 Korea Grand Prix.
The 36th ranked Arif is unseeded in the Swiss Open but he got his campaign off to a great start by ousting Germany’s Yoga Pratama 21-17, 21-16 on Tuesday to set up the second round clash with Daren.
The Negri Sembilan shuttler will now face Japan’s Takuma Ueda in the third round. If he overcomes the 13th seeded Japanese, Arif is likely to meet either Dane Viktor Axelsen or Hong Kong’s Hu Yun in the quarter-finals.
And if the 24-year-old Arif gets past the last eight, his semi-final opponent should be top seed Du Pengyu of China.
In other matches, national champion Misbun Ramdan Misbun fell 18-21, 16-21 in the second round to Taiwan’s Hsu Jen Hao.
Malaysia’s ninth seeded Chong Wei Feng and Zulfadli Zulkifli booked places in the second round by beating Taiwan’s Wang Tzu Wei 21-19, 21-13 and Switzerland’s Anthony Dumartheray 21-11, 21-7 respectively.
Wei Feng will meet Germany’s Marcel Reuter next, while Zulfadli faces a tough second round match against fourth seed Jan O Jorgensen.
In men’s doubles, Hoon Thien How and Tan Wee Kiong shrugged off their disappointing quarter-final exit at last week’s All-England with a convincing 21-19, 21-17 win over Scottish-Malaysian pair Robert Blair-Tan Bin Shen. The third seeded pair should face Dutch pair Jacco Arends and Jelle Maas next.
In women’s singles, Tee Jing Yi crashed out in the first round to Hong Kong’s Chan Tsz Ka 21-17, 21-17.