Huge boost for Zii Jia as he gets it right against Momota
PETALING JAYA: Lee Zii Jia redeemed himself in style to reach the semi-finals.
The opening game was a lopsided affair as Zii Jia took control against his sluggish opponent to win without much difficulty.It looked as though it was set to be a breeze again for the Malaysian in the second game before Momota stepped on the gas to level the score at 14-14. But Zii Jia stood firm to finish off the game.
World No. 10 Zii Jia needed a win against Momota badly to make up for his poor start to the season.He has been low in confidence after dishing out uninspiring performances at three tournaments in Thailand in January.The Badminton Association of Malaysia coaching director Wong Choong Hann was happy that Zii Jia has reached the semi-finals again.
Last year, he lost to eventual champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.“It was really an encouraging win for Zii Jia. I think slowly but surely he has found his footing again after going through some trying times, ” said Choong Hann.“It was a good enough win for Zii Jia although Momota was definitely rusty. This was his first tournament in more than a year and it was not the best that we have seen from him.” headtopics.com
Momota last defeated Zii Jia in the semi-finals of the Malaysian Masters en route to winning the title before he was involved in a car accident on his way to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. He has not played in any international tournaments since then.
“Still, I would consider it as a quality match as it went for more than 50 minutes. We hope Zii Jia will keep the momentum going, ” added Choong Hann.The Malaysian will take on surprise semi-finalist Mark Caljouw, ranked 36th in the world, for a place in the final.
The 26-year-old Dutchman upstaged Lakshya Sen of India 21-17,16-21,21-17 in a hard-fought encounter.If Zii Jia can maintain his new-found form, he can end a four-year men’s singles title drought when Lee Chong Wei won it in 2017. Read more: The Star »
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