BIRMINGHAM: It would have been a gloomy start for Malaysian badminton had it not been for Misbun Ramdan Misbun in the first qualifying round of the All-England.
The 23-year-old Misbun, competing in the All-England for the first time, produced a superb performance to beat the experienced Joachim Persson of Denmark 21-16, 18-21, 21-8 on Tuesday.
“This is my first time competing in the All-England and the first time I’ve faced Joachim, who is really experienced. So, naturally, I was a little excited and nervous,” said 2012 national champion Ramdan, who showed good trickery and excellent court coverage en route to the victory.
“Joachim has played in the Thomas Cup before and is more familiar with these kind of situations ... I’m happy to beat him.
“My father (Misbun Sidek) has played in the All-England and made the final in 1986. I may still be far from that standard ... but getting a good win right at the start is a step in the right direction.”
The world No. 48 will meet Finland’s Ville Lang for a place in the main draw. Lang had to slog for 80 minutes before dispatching Denmark’s Emil Holst 19-21, 23-21, 25-23.
While Ramdan got off to a solid start, it was a disappointing day for former French Open champion Liew Daren and 2011 world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli.
Daren was at a loss to explain his 8-21, 21-23 defeat to Hong Kong’s Wei Nan.
“I don’t really know how to bounce back from this slump I’m going through. I was too eager and made too many mistakes,” said a dejected Daren.
Zulfadli was outclassed 12-21, 19-21 by South Korean Lee Dong-keun.