KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s singles ace Lee Zii Jia(pix) checked into the last eight of the Denmark Open 2021 as he prevailed over Liew Daren in an all-Malaysian affair at the second round of the tournament yesterday.
The 22-year-old Kedahan defeated Daren, currently ranked 37th in the world rankings, 21-11, 21-14 to repeat 2021 All England final showdown against the world number two Victor Axelsen of Denmark.
Zii Jia won 30-29, 20-22, 21-9 against Axelsen to clinch the world’s oldest badminton tournament title in Birmingham, last March.
Axelsen had earlier eliminated Lakhsya Sen of India 21-15, 21-7 to advance to the quarter-finals.
However, the Tokyo Olympics men’s doubles bronze medallist Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik crashed out from the tournament after losing 21-19, 21-13 to Japanese pair Akira Koga-Taichi Saito.
Malaysia’s hope on men’s doubles now hinge on Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani as both pair progressed to the quarter-finals.
The unseeded Yew Sin-Ee Yi beat the Scottish duo, Alexander Hall-Adam Hall, 21-17, 21-11 to face Mark Lamfuss-Marvin Seidel after the German pair defeated Lee Jhe-Huei-Yang Po-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei 21-18, 21-13 in the second round.
Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin produced an amazing comeback to create an upset over the seventh seed from India, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty, as the young national pair recorded an impressive victory of 14-21, 21-15, 21-15.
An arduous task awaits Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin next as they will meet the fourth-seeded Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto after the Indonesian pair overcame Indian duo, M.R. Arjun-Dhruv Kapila, 21-15, 17-21, 21-12.
In the mixed doubles category, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing continued their fine momentum when they subdued South Korean duo, Ko Sung Hyun-Eom Hye Won, 18-21, 21-18, 21-13.
Kian Meng-Pei Jing will take on Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino of Japan after the fourth-seeded duo trounced Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningthyas Mentari from Indonesia, 21-13, 22-20.
Malaysia’s professional duo, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie’s journey in Denmark came to an end after they were knocked out from the competition by third-seeded Indonesian pair, Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti, 21-14, 21-12. -Bernama