Lee Zii Jia eyes another scalp in Malaysia Masters

Lee Zii Jia eyes another scalp in Malaysia Masters

KUALA LUMPUR: After upstaging World No 4 Anders Antonsen in the opening round of the Malaysia Masters badminton championship here, national singles player Lee Zii Jia has trained his sights on another scalp – China’s World No 8, from China, Shi Yu Qi.

It is a stage set perfectly for Zii Jia, who wants to get the better of Yu Qi in the quarterfinals match after losing to him at the 2019 Sudirman Cup in Nanning, China.

“Tomorrow, I will be playing Yu Qi for the second time. My first encounter ended up with me losing tamely. Tomorrow, I hope to win or give him a tougher fight,” he told reporters at the Axiata Arena after his second round win over Sameer Verma from India yesterday.

Zii Jia dismissed suggestions that he had an added advantage in the tie on the basis that Yu Qi’s had only recently returned to competitive badminton due to injury, saying the Chinese player had found his rhythm once again.

“He’s been playing again since last October, although his results have been inconsistent. But looking at his performance in this meet, I can see that he’s on his way to his best form once again,” he said.

Zii Jia, currently ranked 14th in the world, earlier faced a tough fight against Sameer, edging him 21-19, 22-20.

The 21-year-old Zii Jia said playing against Sameer required patience, whom he said played very good long rallies.

“Both sets were also almost similar, he raced into the lead and I had to catch up. This by itself is an improvement to my game,” he said.

Zii Jia’s upset win over Denmark’s Antonsen, the tournament’s third seed, delighted local fans yesterday.

He now remains the nation’s sole singles representative in the championship after professional player Liew Daren went down in the first round to Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie.

Bernama


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