Jakarta: Malaysia’s World No. 16 men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia scored the biggest win of his young badminton career Thursday night, beating the Rio Olympic champion and World No. 4 player Chen Long of China in the Indonesia Open second round.
That was also their first career meeting, as Lee Zii Jia was totally fearless and showed the competitive spirit that the Malaysian men’s singles players have been lacking after Lee Chong Wei’s retirement.
The 21-year-old Malaysian player came out roaring to take the first set 21-16. However, Lee Zii Jia couldn’t hold on to the 18-16 lead in the second, allowing Chen to reel off 4 points and eventually able to force the decider by winning the second set 21-19.
In a very tight third set where the score was tie twelve times. At 20-20, Lee finished it off by claiming the next two points to beat his stubborn opponent 22-20 in the decider.
Fortunately, Lee doesn’t need to face another Chinese player No. 2 seed Shi Yuqi in the quarter-finals as Shi retired in the second round battle to Anders Antonsen of Denmark.
That would actually give Lee a good chance to take revenge on Antonsen, who beat him in the quarter-finals of Indonesia Masters earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s women’s singles Soniia Cheah’s run at Indonesia Open was halted by Nozomi Okuhara, as she lost to the Japanese 7-21, 16-21.
In mixed doubles, Malaysia’s No 5 seeds Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying also advanced to the quarter-finals by outlasting Seo Seung Jae/Chae Yujung of Korea 21-19, 21-15. Chan/Goh will play Tontowi Ahmad/Winny Oktavina Kandow of Indonesia on Friday.