Interview with Zulfadli Zuklifli
Zulfadli Zulkilifli born on 11th Febuary 1994 in Los Angeles, United States of Malaysia; is a Malaysia professional player. Zulfadli has been regarded by the nation as one of the most talented juniors in Malaysia badminton. Zulfadli has won the Youth Commonwealth Games, Asian Junior Championship and the World Junior Championship.
* Sweden International Junior 2005 (Under 13) - Champion
* Europe International Junior 2006 (Under 15) - Champion
* Yonex Sunrise Malaysia International Challenge 2007 - Champion
* Sukan Teras 100Plus National Junior Circuit 2008 - Champion
* Kedah Open 2009 (Under 21) - Champion
* National Schools (MSSM) Badminton Championships 2009,2010,2011 (Under 18) - Champion
* Youth Commonwealth Champion 2011, Asian Junior Champion 2011, World Junior Champion 2011.
1. What age did you start playing?
4 years old when I was in Johor. I follow my dad to his game sessions. At 8 years old I was national circuit champion.
2. Was it your intention to be a professional player from the start ?
At first it was for fun, then my dad said I have the potential when I was the under 12 MSSM champion when I was 10 years old.
3. When did you realize you were good enough to be a world beater ?
Now not really, I can challenge the top names at the senior level but I believe maybe in 2 or 3 years time.
4. How were you noticed at the national level ?
At 14 years old I was the Kedah Open champion divison 2 under-21 category. At 16 years old, I played at the Malaysia Open Super Series 2009.
5. What year you started playing international tournament ?
When I was 12 years old, in 2005; I won the Swedish Junior International under-13. It was the my first encounter with Viktor Axelson and I win him in the final. I won the under 15 category as well. In 2008, when I was 15 years old I competed in my first senior international tournament; The Malaysia Open Super Series.
6. Have you ever considered making a name in doubles?
No not really, when I was a junior I played both. I was under 16 and 18 circuit doubles champion with my brother.
7. How hard did you train to become the youth Commonwealth Games, Asian Junior and World Junior Champion?
I trained everyday, 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. Half day on Saturday and Sunday. I do jogging 3 times a week with 16km for each run. 2 times in a week gym training.
8. What is your immediate gold?
In the recent Malaysia International Challenge, I managed to reach the semi-finals. I was able to give fight before going down to Indonesia's Simon Santoso. My immediate gold would be by next, I would like to be more consistent at the senior tournament level.
9. On your playing career which was the highlight of your career?
Winning the 3 major junior titles the Youth Commonwealth Games, Asian Junior Championship and the World Junior Championship.
10. Which incident would you consider as a low point of your career?
Last year's Youth Olympic Games which held in Singapore. I think I had a great chance to win it last year, as it was a very prestigious tournament as it's held every four years but BAM choose their own player instead.
11. What do you think of the new points scoring system?
For me I would prefer the 15 points as you get to display more skills and the art of badminton. As for the 21 points scoring format it requires a lot of speed and power. You need to be very focus and consistent and no mistakes.
12. Which player you admire at the start, both at the local and the international scene ?
Taufik Hidayat for his amazing skills and overall game.
13. As a player, what was your strength? What are the areas you need to improve on?
Strokes and net play; attacking game. I need to improve more on my speed and power and endurance.
14. Is it important to have a favorite stroke? What was yours then?
Yes but must have different varieties of favourite stroke. My favourite stroke would be the net plays.
15. 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?
I admire Lin Dan speed, physical and mental strength. Taufik Hidayat for his wristwork and amazing court skills.
16. Who do you regard as the all time best player?
Lin Dan he has won all major tournaments. Chen Long is coming up.
17. What are the basic requirements to playing good badminton ?
Footwork is the most important. In this 21 points speed and power is demanding as well.
18. Do you have any plans to go to BAM as they have better facilities over there?
No not at all, I'm training with my dad. I've requested for sparring sessions over there but till now there's no answer.
19. What's the difference between KLRC and BAM?
In terms of financial benefits, KLRC is better.
20. How confident are you that one day you will fill in the senior players, especially when you have Lee Chong Wei as the world number 1?
Yes I'm confident that one day, which is one or two years time that I believe I can replace Lee Chong Wei. Furthermore, he will retire after the Olympic Games in London next year. So I'll train harder to be number 1 in the country one day.
21. Are you good in your studies as well?
I'm just okay in studies, if I'm good at it I would like to study medicine but looking back it's really hard to cope my studies with my badminton schedule. So if I have the chance I would study business.hehe
22. 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?
Yes I do support the league but just don't clash with the international tournaments. It's good for competition and sparring purposes.
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