Jakarta: Lee Zii Jia knocked World No. 30, Sameer Verma of India, out of the Indonesia Open with a dominant second-round match on Thursday by beating the Indian 21-10, 21-13 in 41 minutes.
The World No. 5 Lee will set up a quarter-final against World No. 9 Loh Kean Yew of Singapore.
Loh, on the other hand, saw off World No. 26 Toma Junior Popov of France 21-16, 21-9 in the second round.
As two of the greatest young badminton stars preparing for their showdown in the quarter-finals (Lee Zii Jia is the reigning Asian Champion, while Loh is the reigning World Champion), badminton fans were ecstatic and couldn’t wait for the match-up to take place at the Senayan Istory Stadium on Friday.
“If you look at my performance in the first-round match, I struggled a bit early in the game. However, my performance is improving,” said Lee.
“Hopefully I can maintain this momentum because I will play against a tough opponent tomorrow. I will be prepared and give my best,” added Lee.
“I don’t want to think too much about the match instead I want to enjoy the match and stay focused,” continued Lee.
In another men’s singles action, World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen continued his superior form to break Lu Guang Zu of China 21-17, 21-9 in the second round. Axelsen will meet Anthony Sinisuka Ginting whom he defeated last Saturday in the Indonesia Masters semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s World No. 7 men’s doubles Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik also progressed to the quarter-finals after beating Ruben Jille/Ties Van Der Lecq of Netherlands 21-17, 16-21, 21-6.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist earned a chance to exact revenge for their loss in the final of the Badminton Asia Championships when they face Pramudya Kusumawardana/Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan of Indonesia in the next round.
After losing to Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang of China in the Indonesia Masters last Saturday, World No. 1 men’s pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo continued to struggle as they were beaten by Kang Min Hyuk/Seo Seung Jae of Korea 14-21, 12-21.
Kang/Seo will play teammates Choi Sol Gyu/Kim Won Ho on Friday.