Zii Jia seems to have tons of energy

KUALA LUMPUR: The high-flying Lee Zii Jia may be wearied, but he is not worried.

Zii Jia has no intention to slow down though this week's Singapore Open is his third in as many weeks, following his Thailand Open triumph and Malaysia Masters' runner-up finish last Sunday.

The 26-year-old seems resolved to challenging his limits. A rocky path awaits him at the Singapore Indoor Stadium with Indonesian defending champion Anthony Ginting standing in his way right at the first hurdle tomorrow.

Zii Jia, heading for his 11th match in 14 days, can expect a tough time against Anthony, who on the contrary, is fresh off a three-week break.

Anthony, who finished second at the All England in March, has yet to return to action since helping Indonesia finish runners-up at the Thomas Cup Finals earlier this month.

Zii Jia, dauntingly, has a poor record against Anthony, losing five times in six clashes.

Many have expected a wearied Zii Jia to withdraw from the Singapore Open this week, and recharge for next week's Indonesia Open.

However, Zii Jia did hint in the post-match press conference after his Malaysia Masters final loss to Viktor Axelsen that he would like to challenge himself to sustain a top performance for the third straight week, a feat he has not accomplished in his career.

It will be interesting to see how Zii Jia makes his way to the final given that Axelsen, Anders Antonsen and China's Li Shi Feng are also drawn in the same half.

Zii Jia's rematch with Axelsen could be on the cards in the quarter-finals.

There's already good news coming in from opening Tuesday at the Singapore Open, with Leong Jun Hao beating Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama 21-13, 21-16 to reach the last 16. Should Zii Jia advance, then Malaysia are assured of a place in the last eight.

Jun Hao said: "I'm happy to clear the first round against the higher-ranked Kanta. Having played regularly against top opponents, my confidence has gone up.

"I'm hoping that Zii Jia will recover well before his match on Wednesday. If he makes it through then, Malaysia will have one player assured for the quarter-finals."

In the men's doubles, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani got off to a winning start by beating Taiwan's Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han 21-18, 21-13. The Asian Championships silver medallists will next take on China's Ou Xuan Yi-Li Yu Chen.

In the mixed doubles, national No. 1 Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei eliminated teammates Hoo Pang Ron-Cheng Su Yin 21-15, 21-17 to set up their next encounter with Denmark's Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories