KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's top player, Lee Zii Jia, dropped a bombshell today by announcing an indefinite break from badminton.
The 25-year-old, who dropped out of the world's top 10 yesterday, suffered yet another early exit in as many weeks, this time in the first round of the Super 1000 Indonesia Open.
The Kedahan lost 21-17, 21-13 to India's Lakshya Sen, who has also been struggling with his form recently.
"I think for now I will probably temporarily quit badminton.
"I don't know how long I will take, but I will quit badminton for a while, until I get motivated again.
"I will take a break and get rest for a while," Zii Jia told the Badminton World Federation.
Zii Jia's shock announcement came just after the former All England champion announced last month
the appointment of ex-Malaysian international Wong Tat Meng as his new coaching director.
It also remains to be seen if Zii Jia will still be a part of the Road to Gold (RTG) programme following the latest development.
"Maybe I will stop playing tournaments. I don't know for how long. I have been considering this for quite long. It's too much for me on court, I can't concentrate 100 per cent.
"It will be good for me to take a break. The priority for me is to find my passion on court.
"I did well at the Sudirman Cup (last month), but I haven't done much different after that," added Zii Jia who has not had the smoothest of transitions since turning professional last year.
On top of all this, the former world No 2 still has unfinished business in another court, as he is set to face his former coach, Indra Wijaya in a lawsuit battle.