Zii Jia suffers shock defeat in Malaysia Open

IT was a shocking day in the Malaysia Open today, as the nation's blue-eyed boy Lee Zii Jia was sent packing in the second round.

In a turn of events at the Axiata Arena, the world No 5 was stunned 21-19, 19-21, 21-16 by Indonesia's world No 26 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in a match that exceeded the one-hour mark.

It was the Indonesian's fourth win over Zii Jia in eight meetings.

Shesar, who last defeated Zii Jia at the 2019 Taiwan Open, will face world No 2 Kento Momota of Japan in the last eight today.

"There is no regret, there will always be a loser and a winner," a disappointed Zii Jia said after the match.

"I know where I stand, and it's important for me to maintain my condition to play at the highest level," Zii Jia said in response to his preparations for the World Championships in August.

Shesar pointed out that both players gave their best on court, but he made fewer mistakes than Zii Jia when it mattered most.

"I don't think Zii Jia was under par. I knew it would be tough to play the crowd favourite, especially on his home soil.

"However, the difference today was Zii Jia made some mistakes at the crucial moments, and I kept my nerve," Shesar said.

Earlier, Momota was also stretched to the decider by Hong Kong's Angus Ng before the two-time world champion came out tops with an 11-21, 21-8, 21-18 win.

It will be Momota's second quarter-final appearance this season, after the All England in March.

Also featuring in tomorrow's quarter-finals is world No 1 Viktor Axelsen, who will be chasing his third title on the trot after winning the Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open last month.

Axelsen will play sixth seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting for a place in the semi-finals.

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