Interview with Lee Tseun Seng
Lee Tsuen Seng (born April 26, 1979) from Ipoh, Perak is a professional badminton player from Malaysia.In 2001 he won the Dutch Open and in 2006 the New Zealand Open. In 2002 he represented Malaysia in the Thomas Cup in Guagzhou, China. In the final against, he defeated Taufik Hidayat in the second singles, but eventually Malaysia lost the tie 2-3. He's known have great fighting ability and never been beaten easily. Tsuen Seng is known to always give his opponent a tough time with his strong attacking skill like the signature jump smash.
* 2002 - Rutac Holland Open - Runner-up
* 2003 - Yonex All England Open - Quarterfinalist
* 2003 - Sanyo Indonesia Open - Quarterfinalist
* 2004 - Malaysia Satellite - Runner-up
* 2004 - Chinese Taipei Open - Semifinalist
* 2006 - Equinox New Zealand Open - Winner
* 2006 - Denmark Open - Quarterfinalist
* 2006 - Big Boss Dutch Open International - Semifinalist
* 2006 - JSC Energetics Bulgarian Open - Runner-up
* 2007 - US Open Grand Prix - Champion
* 2007 - Canadian International - Champion
* 2007 - Equinox New Zealand Open - Champion
* 2008 - Indonesia Super Series - Quarter-Finalist
* 2008 - KLRC Australian Open - Champion
* 2008 - Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold - Quarter-Finalist
* 2008 - IKLRC Bulgaria Open Grand Prix - Semi-Finalist
* 2008 - Yonex Dutch Open Grand Prix - Quarter-Finalist
* 2008 - KLRC New Zealand Open - Champion
Lee Tseun Seng
1. What age did you start playing?
8 years old, I learnt it from my father. At 11 years old, I represented Perak state team.
2. Was it your intention to be a professional player from the start ?
My intention from the start is to enter BAM; at 16 years old I was drafted to the national junior academy, Sri Garden sports school.
3. When did you realize you were good enough to be a world beater ?
21 years old, I won Taufik Hidayat in Swiss Open 2002. It was a breakthrough year for me.
4. How were you noticed at the national level ?
I became the state number 1 and then I was national circuit champion.
5. Which year was you drafted into the national squad ?
16 years old I was drafted to the national junior squad and then at 18 years old after high school I was in the backup then at 21 years old I was in the elite squad.
6. Have you ever considered making a name in doubles ?
Nope, not at all I'm always the singles player. To be honest, I don't really like doubles, haha. From the start BAM concentrated and selected players to sport school in the singles, only when you're around 15 or 16 years that's where they separates the singles and doubles players. I don't really like doubles because you have to find a good partner or the partner that suits you.
7. Did any of your batch mates made the same grade as you ? If not, what was the reason ?
James Chua, Malaysia Open champion. In my batch there's a lot of people who didn't make it the same grade or didn't even make it to represent their country. When I was in junior stage, I had a lot of team mates, and then when I been promoted to back up, most of my teammates didn't make it. You got to be the best of the best to go through these stages from junior to back up and then elite squad.
8. How many years were you on the scene?
2001- 2009. 9 years.
9. On your playing career which was the highlight of your career?
Thomas Cup 2002, I won Taufik Hidayat in the second singles. Even though we lost the tie, it was a great breakthrough for me and great experience.
10. Which incident would you consider as a low point of your career?
2004 to 2005, I was dropped in form. I had no results. That's where I realised I couldn't go any further, and I went to KLRC in 2006.
11. How would you summarize your career?
I think I could do better, at that time was still young I didn't the opportunity and lose focus. In that year 2002 and 2003, I won a few tournaments and I felt satisfied.
12. What do you think of the new points scoring system?
It's good for badminton. It doesn't consume so much time. More exiting to play and to watch. You cannot slow down your game and have to be very consistent.
13. Which player you admire at the start, both at the local and the international scene ?
Zhao Jian Hua, I admire is attacking play, sharp and accurate shots plus he's a left hander. Poul Erik Hoyer , he's very skilful and great technical and smart player.
14. As a player, what was your strength? Weakness, if any?
Jumping smash, as for weakness my physical strength and fitness is not so good. 15. Is it important to have a favorite stroke? What was yours then?
Of course it's important, if you don't have favourite stroke how are you going to score points. It's a weapon. My favourite stroke would be my overhead crosscourt jump smash.
16. Can you name a few international players, current or retired, who you regard as best or famous for a specific technique or an area of skills?
Chen Hong plays a good game, he's very solid and there's a lot varieties in his game. He's good in defends as well as in attack. Chong Wei has great agility and movement and court coverage.
17. Who do you regard as the all time best player?
Lin Dan complete player. He's a nice person as well outside the court.
18. Who were your coaches during your international days?
When was in national junior squad, Han Jian was my coach. When I was in the national team, Morten Frost, Indra Gunawan, Li Mao and lastly Misbun Sidek.
19. Can you spell out the difference in coaching styles from China, Malaysia, Denmark and Indonesia?
In my opinion, the training methods in Asian countries are about the same. European nation tends to focus in more technical, skills, and analyzing game.
20. How do you regard the local coaching scene?
Yeah they are doing good. The badminton academies here in Malaysia are putting great effort to promote interest in the sports to kids such as organizing camps, clinics and junior tournaments.
21. Do good players make good coaches?
If a not so good player and become a good coach to beginner players it's possible. But not necessarily to be a good coach at international level. If a coach wants to teach international level he must experienced it before what his/her players are experiencing now so he or she can guide them in terms of weather changes, travelling, dealing with pressure and etc.
22. What are the basic requirements to playing good badminton?
Discipline and got heart to be a champion. Another important thing is to love the sport.
23. What are your future plans? Have you consider coaching the national team?
My future plan is developing juniors to enter the BAM. I think it's not an easy task. If have the opportunity I will coach the national squad. BAM has to consider the fees as well, as everyone needs to survive. I still love Malaysia badminton very much.
24. Who do you think is current upcoming players ?and why?
No one at the moment, the ones who have potential would Chan Kwong Beng, Liew Darren. But they are still very far from the world standards. Probably it's because they being exposed at the later age which caused them to have weak foundation at the age where they are supposed to peaked.
25. Is there any ways for BAM to improve their systems for better results on international scene?
Put more effort and care to the younger players, especially the national junior players at 15 or 16 years old. Expose them to more international tournaments.
26. Badminton-information.com is planning to start a badminton league. Do you think it will increase the level of the Malaysia badminton? Do you support the league?
Of course, it will improve the level of Malaysia badminton as the players will gain more opportunities to prove themselves and gain more financial benefits. Yes I do support the league, if the league is able to make it.
Return from Lee Tseun Seng Interview to Pro Badminton Players' Interviews
Return from Lee Tseun Seng Interview to Badminton Information
Badminton Information on Facebook