Malaysia Open: Slow and Steady Works for Vitidsarn

Expectations grew after Kunlavut Vitidsarn finished surprise runner-up at the World Championships in Tokyo in August. However, the three-time back-to-back world junior champion could not build on that and only had two quarterfinal runs to show at the next four tournaments.

At this season’s curtain-raising event, Vitidsarn’s return to the poise that caught the eye in Japan has been rewarded with a place in the PETRONAS Malaysia Open 2023 semifinals.

“I’m still learning but I realise taking things slow and steady helps. Big tournaments have big players and you must extract more out of yourself. Step by step, don’t think too much, stay patient. That keeps the pressure away and optimises the output,” said the Thai after defeating third seed Loh Kean Yew 21-11 20-22 21-14.

“The second game he moved faster, and attacked and defended better. I made some easy mistakes but managed to fix them after interval in the rubber.”

Asked if Loh enjoying huge support at Axiata Arena affected his game, Vitidsarn said: “I had my supporters too. I could hear them shouting in Thai ‘keep fighting’ and that was enough to boost me.”

The win today is the 21-year-old’s third straight over the Singaporean but Vitidsarn, who will contest his maiden HSBC BWF World Tour Super 1000 semifinal against Prannoy H. S.or Kodai Naraoka, played down his recent superiority over the 2021 world champion.

“I don’t think too much about these things. I try to focus on my performance and that’s the approach that’s always worked best for me,” said the world No.9, who is into his second consecutive Malaysia Open semifinal. Last year, he fell to Kento Momota in the last four.

BWF World Tour News

Title Sponsor