Lin Dan gets comeback win, Lee Zii Jia falls short at Malaysia Open

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Lin Dan survives scare to advance at 2019 Malaysia Open. (photo: Xinhua)
Lin Dan survives scare to advance at 2019 Malaysia Open. (photo: Xinhua)

Kuala Lumpur: China’s two-time Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan was on the verge of suffering another first round exit at the Malaysia Open after falling to No. 3 seed Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan 13-21 in the first game and was trailing 12-19 in the second set.

Lin then staged a dramatic comeback against Chou by raising the level of his game and reeled off nine consecutive points in the second set before winning the game 21-19. In the third set, Lin finally overcame Chou, ending a 64-minute battle with a 21-19 third set win. He will meet Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand next.

“I had to spend some time getting used to the drift inside the stadium, fortunately I was able to find my rhythm to win the match,” said Lin.

Suppanyu Avihingsanon, on the other hand, shattered the hearts of so many home-crowd when he beat Malaysia’s rising start Lee Zii Jia 21-17, 19-21 and 21-15 to advance to the second round.

After the match, Lee admitted he was overconfident when playing against the Thai player.

“After the draw was published, a lot of people said I was handed an easy path, which made me a little overconfident going into today’s match,” said Lee.

“I apologize to all the supporters but win or lose is a common thing for a young player like me. I hope this would be useful lesson to me before playing at the Singapore Open next week,” added Lee.

Despite losing to his lower ranked opponent, Lee Zii Jia’s coach Misbun Sidek was satisfied with Lee’s performance.

“Overall, Zii Jia played well, but he was having some troubles in the middle of the match. He should have used everything he learn in training and tried different type of playing styles in the match,” said Sidek.

Besides Lee Zii Jia, Malaysia’s Chong Wei Feng also lost to Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan 12-21, 12-21 in the opener.

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