Lee Zii Jia advances, Lin Dan suffers another first round exit at the Thailand Masters

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Lin Dan is not as formiddable as he used to be. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Lin Dan is not as formiddable as he used to be. (photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Bangkok: Although Malaysia’s World No. 13 Lee Zii Jia was playing at this third consecutive tournament in three weeks, he got off to a strong start by advancing to the second round of Thailand Masters on Wednesday.

Lee has no problem overcoming World No. 29 Sameer Verma of India 21-16, 21-15 in 38-minute to set up second round encounter with Heo Kwang Hee of Korea.

The victory over Verma was a huge confident booster as Lee was eliminated in the first round of Indonesia Masters last week after he made the semi-finals of Malaysia Masters earlier this month.

China’s badminton legend Lin Dan, however, was suffered his third round exit this year at the Thailand Masters, losing to Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long 18-21, 9-21. Lin was obviously past his prime, the reason he continued playing could due to sponsorship commitment.

Meanwhile, another Malaysian player Daren Liew had to dig deep beat another Indian player, H S Prannoy 21-17, 20-22, 21-19 in a 68-minute match and will meet China’s second seed Shi Yu Qi next.

In mixed doubles, Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing were able to beat Denmark’s Mathias Bay Smidt/Rikke Soby 21-19, 21-17 to play Dejan Ferdinansyah/Serena Kani of Indonesia on Thursday.

Malaysia’s women’s singles player Soniia Cheah also put up a strong fight to overcome Thai player Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-14, 21-18, while another women’s singles player Goh Jin Wei went down to No. 1 seeds Akane Yamaguchi 12-21, 8-21.

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