Lee Zii Jia To Play Viktor Axelsen In Malaysia Masters Final

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Lee Zii Jia (R) to meet Viktor Axelsen in the 2024 Malaysia Masters final. (Photo: Xinhua)
Lee Zii Jia (R) to meet Viktor Axelsen in the 2024 Malaysia Masters final. (Photo: Xinhua)

Kuala Lumpur: In the second game, when trailing 13-17, despite his coach advising him to strategically concede the game and focus on the decider, Malaysia’s men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia decided to give it his all. His never-give-up spirit saw him win eight consecutive points at a critical moment, staging a dramatic comeback to eventually beat Angus Ng Ka Long 21-15, 21-17.

Highlights of Lee Zii Jia vs. Ng Ka Long in the 2024 Malaysia Masters semi-finals:

This marks Lee Zii Jia’s second consecutive victory over Ng Ka Long, having also defeated him in last week’s Thailand Open final.

Post-match interview by Lee Zii Jia:

(source: Spot TV)

Lee Zii Jia described reaching his first home final as extremely meaningful and said he is fully prepared to face Axelsen, the 2018 champion.

“I’m in good condition, as long as there are no serious injuries, I will take to the court,” said Lee Zii Jia, who experienced muscle cramps throughout his body after defeating Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in the quarterfinals yesterday.

“The success of reaching the final is very meaningful to me because it’s at home, in Malaysia. I have never advanced to the final at home before, so I can’t wait to play in the final.”

When asked if he anticipates a tough match against Axelsen, who is aiming for his first title of the season, Lee Zii Jia said, “I’m not thinking too far ahead about what will happen in the final tomorrow.”

“Instead, I want to calm myself, get enough rest, and eat well to ensure my body is ready for the final,” he said.

In their previous encounters, Axelsen has won six out of nine matches against Lee Zii Jia, including their last meeting at the Thomas Cup in Chengdu, China, last month.

Commenting on his match against Ng Ka Long, Lee Zii Jia admitted that after falling behind in the second set, he didn’t expect to win in straight sets.

“I didn’t expect to win the second set because, after falling behind, coach (Wong Tat Meng) told me to let go of the second set and focus on the third.”

“However, I told myself to try a few more points and see how things went. After that, my game improved,” said the former Asian champion.

For the record, the last Malaysian men’s singles player to win the Malaysian Masters was former world number one Lee Chong Wei in 2016 in Penang.

While all the spotlight was on Lee Zii Jia, another Malaysian representative, Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai also made the Malaysia Masters final.

Goh/Lai overcame compatriots and the No. 1 seeds Chen Tang Jie/Toh Ee Wei 21-11, 21-19 in the sem-finals to set up a final battle against Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari of Indonesia in the final.

Meanwhile, Korea’s World No. 34 men’s doubles pair Jin Yong/Na Sung Seung continued their fantastic run at Malaysia Masters by beating World No. 11 He Jiting/Ren Xiangyu 21-19, 21-13 to take on World No. 5 Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark on Sunday.

For other finals, PV Sindhu of India will take on Wang Zhi Yi of China in the women’s singles final while Lee Yu Lim/Shin Seung Chan of Korea will play Rin Iwanaga/Kie Nakanishi of Japan in the women’s doubles final.

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