Zii Jia regaining his world-beating form?

KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Zii Jia believes he's slowly regaining his momentum to establish himself as a major contender for this week's All England crown.

Just last week at the French Open, the 25-year-old suffered his worst defeat yet this year, losing in straight games to Denmark's world No. 33, Magnus Johannesen, in the first round.

However, Zii Jia served a timely reminder of his potential when he displayed his true form, claiming an emphatic 21-15, 21-12 victory over former world champion Loh Kean Yew today.

In Wednesday's first round, Zii Jia outplayed Japan's sixth seed, Kodai Naraoka, ending his two-match unbeaten streak.

"Last week was disappointing. I discussed with my coach (Wong Tat Meng) to see what we can improve," Zii Jia said in a post-match press conference with the BWF.

"I wanted to try to regain my confidence. Everything seems to be going well at the moment."

Zii Jia added that the Penang-born Kean Yew, with whom he has had a long-standing rivalry dating back to the national junior circuit, was not playing anywhere near his best, which paved the way for a straightforward victory.

"I think Kean Yew and me both have something in common. When we're at our best, we can beat anyone, but it's the opposite when we're not.

"That's what we saw from him today, he was clearly not at his best. He committed so many unforced errors."

Buoyed by his explosive performance, all eyes will be on Zii Jia to see if he can reclaim the victory that propelled him to stardom in 2021.

After all, the Arena Birmingham has always been a favourite hunting ground for him since his debut in 2020.

In addition to his landmark title, Zii Jia was a semi-finalist on all three other occasions.

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