Zii Jia admits world No. 1 Axelsen is still superior

KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Zii Jia admitted he still has some catching up to do before he can compare himself to world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

On Sunday, the Malaysian world No. 10 gave his all on court but it was still not enough to deny the great Dane from clinching the Malaysia Masters crown at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

A spirited Zii Jia, fresh from winning the Thailand Open title last week, fought gallantly but ultimately succumbed 21-6, 20-22, 21-13.

It was the Kedah-born's second defeat to Axelsen this season after also losing to him in the group stage of the Thomas Cup in Chengdu, China, earlier this month.

"There were no big changes to my game. I tried everything I had today but this is the result.

"Honestly speaking, I don't know if I could have beaten him (Axelsen) even if I was really fit.

"He is very experienced, but I have already given my best. Of course, I am not entirely satisfied with my performance, but I must accept that today was not my day," said Zii Jia.

Despite falling short in his bid to win back-to-back World Tour titles, Zii Jia stated that he is still on course to do well at the Paris Olympics in July.

"It has been a good experience for me these past two weeks. I learned a lot from playing so many different opponents, so hopefully, I will be able to apply these positives in the next tournaments leading up to the Olympics.

"I am still not fully satisfied because I believe I can still do better, but this is what it is. I still have three more tournaments to test myself," added Zii Jia, who is scheduled to compete in the Super 750 Singapore Open next week.

Following Zii Jia's defeat in the final, former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei remains the last Malaysian singles player to win a World Tour title (2018 Malaysia Open) on home soil.

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