Lee Zii Jia Enters 2024 Thailand Open Semis

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Lee Zii Jia makes the 2024 Thailand Open semifinals. (Photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)
Lee Zii Jia makes the 2024 Thailand Open semifinals. (Photo: Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Bangkok: Malaysia’s World No. 10 men’s singles player – Lee Zii Jia, feels there has been a positive development in his game after successfully securing a ticket to the semifinals of the 2024 Thailand Open on Friday.

Lee advanced after defeating World No. 19 player from China, Lu Guang Zu, in a three-set battle (21-13, 16-21, 21-18) during the quarterfinals at the Nimibutr Stadium in Bangkok.

Highlights of Lee Zii Jia vs. Lu Guang Zu in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Thailand Open:

Notably, this is the first time Lee Zii Jia has reached the semifinals this season after being halted in the quarterfinals four times.

The former All England champion expressed his happiness at finally overcoming his quarterfinal jinx, considering it a positive sign in his efforts to return to his best form ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics. “This is a breakthrough for me. I can’t say I’m at 100% of my best form yet, but it’s a positive development,” said Lee.

The victory over Lu Guang Zu also allowed Lee to avenge his loss to the same opponent in the first round of the Malaysia Open last January.

“Of course, I entered today’s match seeking revenge against Guang Zu. However, my main priority in the tournaments I participate in is to find my best form before the Olympics,” added Lee.

Zii Jia faces a tough challenge to reach the finals as he is set to meet World No. 14 Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in the semifinal on Saturday.

“Undoubtedly, it will be a difficult match regardless of whether I face Kodai or Tien Chen,” continued Lee.

“We all know each other’s playing styles well. I need to stay focused and perform at my best. I’m excited to play in my first semifinal this year,” concluded Lee.

In men’s doubles, two Malaysian men’s doubles pairs, Muhammad Haikal Nazri/Choong Hon Jian and Wan Arif Wan Junaidi/Yap Roy King, were defeated in the quarterfinals.

Muhammad Haikal Nazri/Choong Hon Jian, ranked 28th in the world, were surprised by a loss to the 80th-ranked pair, Lu Ming Che/Tang Kai Wei from Taiwan, with a score of 18-21, 21-15, 18-21.

Meanwhile, Wan Arif Wan Junaidi/Yap Roy King, World No. 64, had to concede defeat when facing the top-seeded pair, also the world number three doubles team, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty. In the match, Junaidi/Yap failed to match the prowess of their opponents, and they lost 7-21, 14-21.

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