'Impatient' Zii Jia loses to Naraoka in India Open

KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Zii Jia's hopes of clinching his first title this year were dashed when he crashed out in the quarter-finals of the India Open on Friday.

Despite a spirited performance, the world No. 10 couldn't overcome Japan's Kodai Naraoka, falling 13-21, 21-9, 21-16 in 78 minutes.

World No. 6 Naraoka has consistently proven to be a tough opponent for Zii Jia, extending his superior head-to-head record to 3-1.

"I gave my best today and delivered my top performance, but I just couldn't break through Kodai," said Zii Jia.

"When you face Kodai, it's all about patience. To overcome him, you have to be even more patient than him.

"And it proved to be the difference today because I was becoming impatient in the latter part of the rubber game. It allowed Kodai to open up a gap.

"Sometimes, losing a few points can influence the game's outcome. In today's match, there were crucial points that I couldn't take from him."

Despite the exit, Zii Jia chose to focus on the positive aspects.

"It's my first quarter-finals in only my second event of the year," said Zii Jia.

"That's certainly an improvement compared to last year, which took me until the fifth event to reach the semi-finals of the All England.

"I just have to keep working hard, keep trying, and never give up."

Meanwhile, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie were also eliminated in the mixed doubles competition, losing 21-13, 21-13 to China's Jiang Zhen Bang-Wei Ya Xin.

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