Hafiz and Choong Hann shown early exit

KUALA LUMPUR: Former All England champion Hafiz Hashim and seasoned campaigner Wong Choong Hann’s Malaysian Open Super Series campaign ended early when they were shown the exit door at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here yesterday after failing to get past their first round opponents.

Hafiz Hashim

Hafiz Hashim

Hafiz, 28, ranked 23rd in the world and the 2003 All England champion, bowed out to Taiwan’s Hsien Yu Hsing 19-21, 21-15, 14-21 while Choong Hann fell to Poland’s Wacha Przemyslaw 22-20, 14-21, 11-21.

“Frankly speaking, I didn’t play well, particularly at the net. I am really upset as I had really prepared hard for this tournament and even skipped the Korean Open last week,” said Hafiz.

Hafiz said he would now focus on the All England championships in March and the Thomas Cup here two months later.

National men’s singles coach Hendrawan said Hafiz’s counter-attack was not up to the mark and made numerous unforced errors.

“Maybe he was too confident. He was too eager to win the match,” he said.

The country’s top mixed doubles pair Koo Kean Keat-Wong Pei Tty also suffered a similar fortune when they were defeated by fifth-seeded Indonesian pair Hendra Gunawan-Vita Marissa 21-19, 21-18 in the first round. — Bernama

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