Tze Yong a diamond in the rough

SHUTTLER Ng Tze Yong has proven that he has the skills to match the best players in the sport one day.

Now he just needs more high-level tournaments to polish his game.

On his Thomas Cup debut in Denmark, the 21-year-old was certainly a breath of fresh air for the men's team with his attacking prowess and occasional flashes of showmanship.

The world No 82 made headlines when he defeated 79th-ranked B. R. Sankeerth of Canada in the group stage.

But it was the performance against world No 7 Jonatan Christie in the quarter-finals that left Malaysian fans excited in Friday's 3-0 defeat to Indonesia.

For a shuttler who did not play a single tournament last year and only a handful of events this year due to the Covid-19 situation, Tze Yong certainly handled himself well in the face of adversity.

Despite coming on with Malaysia trailing 2-0, Tze Yong drew much admiration in his 14-21, 21-19, 21-16 defeat to Jonatan.

Tze Yong's performance even earned praise from Jonatan.

"He played very well, considering that it was a quarter-final tie, which everyone wanted to do their best," said Jonatan.

"With Indonesia 2-0 up, there was no pressure on him, and he took his opportunity to play the way he wanted.

"Luckily, I managed to handle it well after losing the first game, but it was still a very good performance from him (Tze Yong)."

Tze Yong certainly has the pedigree to go far and become a world-beater. However, he has to play more in more high-level tournaments to make a grade.

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