Kuala Lumpur: Two notable men’s singles stars, World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen and World No. 5 Lee Zii Jia announced on Monday their withdrawal from the upcoming Malaysia Masters.
Axelsen who won the Malaysia Open on Sunday wrote on his Facebook page:
First of all, I want to say thanks for all your support during these busy weeks. I’m of course really happy about how these last 3 tournaments have turned out. Has been amazing to play in Indonesia and Malaysia in front of wonderful crowds! Also a big thanks again to my team, family, and friends for the continued support.
I would have loved to compete again here in KL this week and then in SG, however when I woke up this morning my body and my head was telling me that it’s time to rest and recharge before I step on the court again. I need some days off to rest, celebrate my recent wins with my family, and then build up toward new goals.
Thanks again guys and talk to you later!
According to Badminton Statistics, Axelsen really needed a rest as he has played 15 matches and spent almost 3 hours more on badminton matches (with a total of 11 hours and 55 minutes) last month compared to Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia (with a total of 9 hours and 3 minutes), while Lee Zii Jia ranked third on the list as Lee has spent a total of 7 hours and 54 minutes on the court.
Although there’s no official confirmation from Lee Zii Jia about his withdrawal from the Malaysia Masters, in the final draw Malaysia Masters draw released on Monday, Lee Zii Jia’s name has been replaced by Li Shi Feng of China.
At last week’s Malaysian Open, Lee Zii Jia lost in the second round to Indonesian shuttler Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 19-21, 21-19, 16-21.
In addition to Axelsen and Lee, the Tokyo Olympic men’s doubles champions – Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin also withdrew from the Malaysia Masters after testing positive for COVID-19.