Kuala Lumpur: World No. 5 Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia suffered a surprise second-round loss (19-21, 21-19, 16-21) to World No. 26 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia in 66 minutes, on Thursday at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur.
The 28-year-old Indonesian said the victory was quite ‘special’ especially when he was able to beat Lee in front of Malaysian supporters.
“I am very grateful for this win and I’m happy to beat Zii Jia because it’s not easy to defeat a player who has home-court advantage. However, Zii Jia also played very well, what differentiated us today was the last few points,” said Rhustavito.
“I was trying my best to take advantage of Zii Jia’s mistakes in the final few points,” added Rhustavito who will face the two-time world champion from Japan, Kento Momota in the quarter-finals. Kento Momota was stretched to three sets before beating World No. 13 Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong 11-21, 21-8, 21-18 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Lee admitted that he still has a lot of work to do to improve his game.
“Shesar played well today, he has always been a tough opponent for me,” said Lee.
“However, this defeat did not dampen my spirit and level of confidence,” added Lee.
“I know my own level, I just need to learn how to maintain at that kind of level consistently,” continued Lee who will shift his focus to compete in the Malaysian Masters which starts next Tuesday.
In women’s singles, both World No. 3 An Se Young and World No. 5 Carolina Marin were defeated by their respective opponents in the second round.
Marin lost to Line Højmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark 19-21, 21-19, 13-21 while An was stunned by Han Yue of China 23-21, 18-21, 16-21.