KUALA LUMPUR: The “sudden disappearance” of independent shuttler Zulfadli Zulkiffli has raised questions of the player's wherebouts after he failed to show up in the last three tournaments.
Following the Thailand Masters, in which the 2011 former world junior champion was sent packing in the first round by youngster Leong Jun Hao, Zulfadli was supposed to play in the Malaysia Masters, Indonesia Masters as well as the recent India Open in New Delhi.
Based on the initial tournament list, Zulfadli had qualified for the main draw of all three tournaments, but he was nowhere to be seen during the competitions.
The reason for his “no-show” is still not known as efforts to contact the 24-year-old proved futile.
These tournaments could have been the platform for the shuttler to prove himself ahead of the Thomas Cup finals in Bangkok in May and the Asian Games in Indonesia in August.
Zulfadli’s failure to compete, has lead to him dropping down to No 57 on the world ranking.
In the men's singles pecking order, Zulfadli is currently Malaysia's No 5 behind former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei, Liew Daren (41), Chong Wei Feng (46) and Lee Zii Jia (47).
Adding to the mystery behind his disappearance, Zulfadli took to social media a day after his defeat to Jun Hao, venting out his feelings.
"Nothing is permanent, don't stress yourself too much, because no matter how bad the situation is, it will change.
"Never hate jealous people. They are jealous because they think you are better than them," read part of his statement on Instagram.
It's not wrong to say that Zulfadli is indeed a talented shuttler, but his “no shows” at tournaments will not make him a star.