KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — After displaying an impressive form to reach till semi-finals in his maiden Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 500 event (third-tier), Ng Tze Yong vows to improve his stamina and speed to be able to rub shoulders with the world top players.

The 21-year-old Johorean, ranked 70 in the world, ended his campaign in New Delhi following a 21-19, 16-21, 12-21 defeat to world number 17, Lakshya Sen of India after a hard battle for 67 minutes in the last four stage, yesterday.

Tze Yong, who had a good year in 2021 by winning three lower-tier tournament titles - the Polish Open, Belgian International and Scottish Open - admitted that he could not catch up Sen’s rhythm in the third game, leading to his defeat.

“Overall I am happy with the results because this is my 500 tournament debut. In the first game, I didn’t face any problem, in the second, I lost focus when leading 12-10, before he increased the speed further in the rubber set, which I couldn’t follow.

“I felt I need to work on increasing my speed, though I can match his speed in the first two games, I couldn’t in the decider,” he said through a video from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) today.

Tze Yong was forced to play till rubber set since the first round, when he stunned world number 28 Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 21-16, 14-21, 21-5, before recording comeback wins against Frenchman Lucas Claerbout 20-22, 21-15, 21-18 in the second round and Nhat Nguyen of Ireland 9-21, 21-8, 21-16 in the quarter-finals.

He will next feature in the Syed Modi India International 2022 in Lucknow, India from Jan 18-23. — Bernama