Zii Jia scores first win over Yu Qi to enter semis

Zii Jia scores first win over Yu Qi to enter semis

KUALA LUMPUR:  Malaysia’s top singles player Lee Zii Jia played the game of his life to beat China’s Shi Yu Qi in the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Masters badminton championship at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil here today.

The 22-year-old Malaysian came from behind to beat the seventh seeded Yu Qi 12-21, 21-16, 21-19.

Zii Jia showed amazing tenacity to overcome the Chinese player, who, despite being troubled by an old injury, used his experience and skill to win the first game easily.

Zii Jia simply could not keep pace with Yu Qi and had no answer to his array of shots in the opening game.

“In the second game, I gradually tried to match his speed. My play is extraordinary today,” Zii Jia told reporters.

Zii Jia said he felt nervous even when leading but kept telling himself to fight till the end.

“I did not expect the last shot, which is a lucky point,” said Zii Jia, who had lost his two previous matches against Yu Qi.

In the semi-finals tomorrow, Zii Jia has a mountain to climb against top seed and world number one Kento Momota.

The Kedah-born Zii Jia admitted that it would be tough against Momota because of the Japanese player’s speed and his ability to vary his game.

“Only a speedy and attacking player like (Anthony) Ginting (of Indonesia) would stand a chance against him. I respect him and will give it my all tomorrow,” he added.

Momota was reported to be not fully fit and has withdrawn from the Indonesian Masters next week.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s doubles pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi failed to keep up their good run when they narrowly lost to South Koreans Kim Gi Jung-Lee Yong Dae in the quarter-finals.

It was an exciting encounter with the Malaysians taking the first game 21-19 but going down 15-21 in the second.

The decider was a thriller all the way but the Malaysians failed to seal the match despite holding match point at 20-19. The Koreans forced deuce and went on to win the match 22-20.