Kuala Lumpur: World No. 14 Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia had to rally from 18-20 down, reeling off 4 points to eventually beat India’s World No. 33 Sameer Verma 21-19, 22-20 in the Malaysia Masters second round on Thursday.
However, the 21-year-old was cautious about meeting his next opponent, China’s World No. 8 Shi Yuqi even though the Chinese player had just recovered from an ankle injury he picked up in the second round of Indonesia Open on July 2019.
“I am not going to think too much of Friday’s game, this is our third meeting after I’ve lost twice to him. I just want to give a strong fight or try to create a surprise,” said Lee.
Lee, who will be seeking revenge over his two previous defeats include the 2019 Sudirman Cup and the 2018 Asian Team Badminton Championship, acknowledged that the seventh seed Chinese player has been playing well at the tournament.
“I wish I could take revenge even after he is coming back from his injury and has started to find his rhythm to get back to his best performance,” added Lee.
In mixed doubles, two Malaysian pairs have successfully made it to the quarter-finals.
No. 6 seeds Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying overcame Choi Solgyu/Shin Seung Chan 21-13, 21-13 to set up a last eight match with Takuro Hoki/Wakana Nagahara while No. 8 seeds Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai beat Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue of France 21-16, 21-14. However, a tough task awaits Goh/Lai on Friday as they will play No. 1 seeds Huang Yaqiong/Zheng Si Wei of China.
“We are not only competing with Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, but also facing tough challenge by mixed pairs from other countries,” said Lai after Thursday’s match.
In women’s singles, Tai Tzu Ying will set up a blockbuster clash with PV Sindhu on Friday while Carolina Marin will take on Saina Nehwal for a semi-final berth.