KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 4 Lee Zii Jia found the going tough at the Japan Open badminton tournament in Osaka, Japan, today.
The Asian champion lost 22-20 and 23-21 to India's Thomas Cup hero K. Srikanth in the first round today.
It was Zii Jia's first opening-round defeat of the season.
The defeat is a blow for Zii Jia, who was eager to make amends in Osaka following his last-16 exit from last week's World Championships in Tokyo.
Srikanth will take on Taiwan's Wang Tzu Wei or Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama in the second round tomorrow.