Ng Tze Yong will take a lot of heart from his India Open outing, where he reached the semi-finals, as he prepares to fare better at the upcoming India International.
At the India Open, Ng did everything he could before being outclassed in three games by eventual champion Lakshya Sen.
The world number 60 could not be faulted for effort but eventually succumbed when the Indian youngster upped the tempo in the second and third game.
Ng was taken to three games in all his matches before the semis duel and struggled to find the extra gear after taking the lead.
“Overall I am happy with my outing at the India Open. I need to work on my speed. When he [Lakshya] started playing at a faster pace, I could not keep up, especially towards the end,” Ng said.
If he plays his cards right, the third ranked national men’s singles shuttler could well capture his first title of the year at the India International.
Being a lower-tier event, the men’s singles affair consists of a plethora of lower-ranked shuttlers who hail mostly from India.
Ng faces Thailand’s Adulrach Namkul in the first round and could take on world number 25 Sameer Verma in the next round.
Soong Joo Ven and Cheam June Wei are also in the draw and are expected to get past their opening round.
Besides Ng, the other shuttlers in focus are mixed doubles pairs Chan Peng Soon-Valeree Siow and Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei.
Chan-Siow, who played together for the first time at the India Open, did well to reach the quarter-finals.
They take on an unseeded Indian pair in the first round, while Siow is also on women’s doubles duty with Low Yeen Yuan and face an Indian pair too.
Meanwhile for Chen-Peck, this event could be a chance of retribution after the pair fell in the India Open final to Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai-Tan Wei Han.
Chen-Peck are seeded second and face India’s Pratik Ranade-Kanika Kanwal.
“We have learnt a lot from the India Open and I believe we can do better in the future. We hope to boost our ranking to a top 20 pair this year,” said Peck, who is ranked 40th with Chen.