Rookie Tze Yong maturing for world challenge

KUALA LUMPUR: National coach Hendrawan wants men's singles Ng Tze Yong to do the talking on the court.

Following his two-medal heroics at the recent Birmingham Commonwealth Games, the Indonesian believes Tze Yong can spring a surprise at the World Championships in Tokyo next week.

Hendrawan pointed out that the 22-year-old showed tremendous improvement in the way he carried himself months before the quadrennial Games.

However, Hendrawan wants the world No 42 to take things one step at a time and not give up when things get tough.

"Honestly, there is a big difference in Tze Yong's commitment and desire to win. There is more quality in his training, and you know he is not just here for the sake of it.

"The change in him was obvious even before the Commonwealth Games. It has nothing to do with his skill but more of him taking on a bigger responsibility.

"The World Championships next week are somewhat similar to the Commonwealth Games because Tze Yong only learned of his inclusion at the last minute.

"Difference is that expectations have changed.

"Just like Lee Zii Jia in the past, the biggest challenge for Tze Yong now is managing all the attention. I also hope the press will not blow up his successes and criticise him too much when he falters.

"All I expect from him, just like at the Commonwealth Games, is to bring out his best on court. He needs to trust the process," said Hendrawan.

Tze Yong surprised everyone when he inspired the national team to the mixed team gold and then went on to bag silver in the individual event in Birmingham.

Social media was abuzz with Tze Yong's fine showing, but this is exactly what Hendrawan is most worried about.

"Times have changed. Everything is about social media these days.

"Tze Yong must realise that he is where he is today because of his hard work and dedication.

"As long as he knows this and does not get complacent with his success, nothing is impossible for him," added Hendrawan, who believes his charge can break into the top 30 this year.

Tze Yong, who will leave for Tokyo tomorrow, will open his world meet campaign against Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo. Also in the top half is world No 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, who will play against Liew Daren in his opening match.

Zii Jia takes on France's Brice Leverdez in the first round.

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