Malaysia Open: By the time we arrived in Kuching for the Malaysia Open, we had been on the tour for more than three weeks and getting tired of having to adjust to different kinds of food, playing conditions etc. I beat Jean Michel Lefort of France in the first round 22-20, 21-11. The first game was close, but I could see that Lefort was tiring at the end of it and managed to win the second game quite easily.
In the second round, I played Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, the world No.2 and defending champion. I lost the first game 13-21 and was down 13-8 in the second before I found my rhythm. I knew that if I kept cool and remained focussed I would have a chance at some point in the match.
I could see that Lee was distracted in the latter half of the second game and capitalized on that to win it 21-17. In the third game, the umpire, being Malaysian, was totally biased in Lee’s favour and was very unfair to me. She even gave me a red card for just asking to talk to the chief referee. A red card means that the opponent is given one point. This is usually shown to a player who is abusive to his/her opponent and the umpire. All I did here was ask to talk to the referee and I was shown a red card.
I lost my focus at that point and went down 13-21 in the third game. This meant that my Asian tour had come to an end. Arvind Bhat came up with a brilliant straight sets win over Kenneth Jonassen in the second round but failed to get past the next hurdle, losing to Roman Spitko of Germany in the last 16 stage.
All in all, I had a successful Asian tour with my ranking going up about 30 places from 65 to 35. I had some very good wins and have also learned what I need to work on to get better. My next international tournament will probably be the World Championships in September.