Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat started his campaign in a quivering fashion as he narrowly won against lower ranked Zi Liang Derek Wong in Men’s Singles first round of Swiss Open GP Gold 2012 in Switzerland, on Tuesday, March 13.
The former World Champion and Olympic gold medallist Taufik, who is World Number 12 and 10th seed in the event, faced a strong resistance from his Singaporean opponent and managed to overpower him in hard-fought three games.
In the first set, Taufik played in his usual calm style and controlled the pace of rallies with his impressive craft.
He pushed his rival in all corners by taking the bird early and set up a wonderful lead of 11-5 until the break.
After the interval, Zi Liang geared up his speed to stop the progressive run of Taufik but failed as the Indonesian was fast and positive in the court.
Taufik was fully focused throughout the opening set and easily won it with an impressive 21-14 score on the board.
In the second game, Taufik was in complete control and also remained successful in taking a comfortable lead of 11-5 until the one-minute interval.
After the break, the Indonesian was ahead at 12-6 when Zi Liang stunned the crowd by playing to his maximum potential. The Singaporean scored nine consecutive points and took a reasonable lead of 15-12.
Taufik levelled the score by reaching 16-16 but failed to overpower his rival in the ending points. He could not produce finishing strokes and lost the set with a decent margin of 17-21.
In the final set, Taufik again managed to dictate the pace of rallies in the first half. He did not let his opponent to play attacking game and remained ahead at 11-7 until the interval.
Zi Liang lifted up his level of play after the break and levelled the score at 16-16. Both shuttlers progressed closely at this stage and reached at 19-19 when Taufik changed his tactics and managed to earn ending points.
The Indonesian bagged the set with a tight margin of 21-19. He emerged as the winner of this breath-taking contest with a 21-14, 17-21 and 21-19 score on the board.