Nguyen Tien Minh opened his new year with a victory in the first round of the Proton Malaysia Open Super Series in Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 19.

The nation's top badminton player defeated Japanese Sho Sasaki 21-10, 25-23 in 42 minutes. It was an easy match for the Vietnamese who is ranked No 8 in the world against his unseeded rival. Minh is to meet Japanese, Kazushi Yamada in the second round on Jan. 20. Yamada earlier beat Chetan Anand of India 21-14, 21-17

Minh is the only Vietnamese representative left as his female team-mate Nguyen Thu Huyen was eliminated in the first qualifier on Jan 18. Huyen lost 17-21, 19-21 to Malay Yi Lyn Evelyn Chee in only 30 minutes./.