Bangkok: World junior bronze medalists Lee Zii Jia produced a huge upset on Friday to defeat men’s singles No. 1 seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-18, 21-12 in 38 minutes.
It was a bit of a neck and neck race in the first set when the home favorite Saensomboonsuk came back from a 14-17 deficit to tie the game at 18-18. The 18-year-old Lee then held his nerve to scrape his way to win the first set with 21-18.
The second set seemed one-sided as Lee eased past Saensomboonsuk 21-12 to set up a semi-final encounter with another Thai player Kantaphon Wangcharoen on Saturday.
Thailand’s women’s singles top seed Busanan Ongbumrungpan kept up her aggressive play to beat Malaysia’s No. 6 seed Soniia Cheah 21-7, 21-18 in 35 minutes in the quarter-finals.
Ongbumrungpan will play the 2016 World Junior champion and No. 3 seed Chen Yufei in the semi-final while her teammate No. 2 seed Nitchaon Jindapol will meet No. 4 seed Aya Ohori of Japan in other women’s singles semi-final.
Other Malaysian players have fizzled out from the tournament on Friday.