Malaysia's Zulfadli Zulkiffli takes on Hong Kong shuttler Vincent Ki Wong in the Men's singles second round of 2017 Singapore Open on Thursday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The world number 33 comfortably outclassed his first-round opponent Hsu Jen Hao 21-13, 21-17 in just 45 minutes on Wednesday. On the other hand, Vincent stunned third seed Viktor Axelsen 21-15, 21-15 in just 35 minutes to progress to the second round.
Vincent will be high on confidence after ousting the world number two, who was also the tournament's highest-ranked Men's singles player after the withdrawal of Lee Chong Wei. The world number 12 dominated the tie right from the first game and never gave any opportunity for Axelsen to make a comeback. The Hong Kong shuttler, buoyed by the huge opening-round win, is confident of making his mark in the tournament.
"I didn't make many mistakes or give him any chance to control the match. I concentrated on my defence first, and then counter-attacked. Viktor is the best player in this tournament, the highest ranked player. After beating him, I am more confident and I hope I can stay focused," Vincent said, as quoted by BWF's official website.
After exiting All England Championships and India Open in the first round, Vincent got back to form by progressing to the semi-final of Malaysia Open, in which he lost to Chong Wei. Despite not having faced Zulkiffli in the past, the 27-year-old starts today's match as favourite, considering his recent exploits.
On the other hand, Zulkiffli, in the absence of Chong Wei and after the exit of Wei Feng Chong, is the only Malaysian remaining in the Men's singles field and the 24-year-old needs to be at his best to stand a chance against his in-form opponent.