New Delhi: The World No. 2 seed Lee Zii Jia survived a first-game wobble and came back in the next two games to beat World No. 24 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indondeis 20-22, 21-19, 21-12 to enter the 2nd round of the 2023 India Open on Wednesday.
The victory also saw Lee exact revenge for his two consecutive losses to Rhustavito when he lost to the Indonesian in the first round of the 2022 French Open and in the round of 16 of the 2022 Malaysia Open.
Lee will meet Li Shi Feng of China whom he defeated in the 2022 Thailand Open final 17-21, 21-11, 23-11 on Thursday.
Another Malaysian men’s singles player – Daren Liew had to retire halfway through the first game against Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark due to a leg injury. Another player from Denmark, who was also last week’s Malaysia Open champion – Viktor Axelsen continued his dominance to outlast Kidambi Srikanth 21-14 in the first game and launched a remarkable comeback in the second game when trailing 5-14, to eventually win the second game 21-19. Axelsen will play Shi Yuqi of China next.
Other Malaysian players, including Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles), Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan (women’s doubles), and Chen Tang Jie/Toh Ee Wei (mixed doubles) overcame their respective opponents in the first round to advance to the last 16.
Chia/Soh will play Lee Jhe-Huei/Yang Po-Hsuan of Taiwan, Ong/Teo are set to meet Supak Jomkoh/Kittinupong Kedren of Thailand, Tan/Muralitharan will battle Lee Chia Hsin/Teng Chun Hsun of Taiwan while Chen/Toh will have a tough task ahead when they face the 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalists – Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping in the second round.