NG Eain Yow and Ivan Yuen fought gamely before going down in the first round of the Men’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar yesterday.
National No 1 Eain Yow took the challenge to World No 13 Fares Dessouky of Egypt before going down 6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 5-11 at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex.
With National Sports Institute (NSI) chief executive officer Ahmad Faedzal Md Ramli watching from the stands, the Malaysian Open winner had chances to pull off an upset but a few unforced errors in the third game swung the momentum back to Fares and the Egyptian did not need a second invitation as he closed out the win in 58 minutes.
Fares next meets Spain’s Edmon Lopez, who eased past Denmark’s Kristian Frost 11-9, 11-4, 11-6.
At the same time, over at the glass court, World No 44 Ivan also gave World No 7 Diego Elias of Peru a scare before going down 8-11, 9-11, 12-14.
The three-time national champion made Elias work hard for every point and was unfortunate not to have nicked the first two games.
He had a chance in the third game but Elias showed his quality to force deuce before clinching victory in 45 minutes.
“I played pretty well today. I’ve got to give myself some credit,” said Ivan.
“I didn’t expect to play this well against Diego and I could have taken it today.
“Overall, I’m happy with my performance despite this first-round defeat.”
Eain Yow and Ivan’s strong performances bode well for Malaysia ahead of the Men’s World Team Championships in Washington from Dec 15-21.
The pair will now head to Bristol, in the United States, to link up with teammate Syafiq Kamal for centralised training before heading for Washington.
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s other matches, Egypt’s World No 4 Karim Abdel Gawad got off to a flying start after beating Frenchman Auguste Dussourd 11-4, 11-8, 13-11.
The 2016 champion meets Mexico’s Cesar Salazar next.