Thailand Open: Zii Jia exacts revenge, takes down Chinese opponent to enter last four

BANGKOK — The country’s number one men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia (picture) succeeded in taking revenge on his Chinese opponent who beat him early this year, by downing him in the Thailand Open action at the Nimibutr Stadium here today.

The world number 10 men’s professional singles shuttler who lost to Lu Guan Zu of China in the Malaysia Open in January, exacted his revenge with a 21-13, 16-21 and 21-18 victory in 66 minutes.

The Kedahan when met after the match said his opponent played well today and that he needed to be calm, collected and at his best, especially in the third set to seal the victory.

“As you can see, he (Guan Zu) was leading all the way in the third set…at that kind of situation, your opponent’s confidence will be good and in good form too, so I needed to have patience while waiting for my chance,” he told Bernama here today.

The sixth-seeded Zii Jia said he is expecting another tough match in the semi-final tomorrow either against Kodai Naraoka of Japan or Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.

“Kodai is another good rally player while Tien Chen recently defeated world number one Axelsen…so I need to prepare myself well for tomorrow,” he said.

Both Kodai and Tien Chen will play each other in another quarter-final later this evening.

Meanwhile, China’s top seeded women’s singles player Han Yue lived up to expectations by brushing aside Indonesia’s rising star Komang Ayu Cahya Dewi 21-14 and 21-9 in just 31 minutes to book her place in the semi-final tomorrow.

Han Yue, the world number 7, will meet home favourite Pornpawee Chochuwong who had earlier defeated Gao Fang Jie of China 10-21, 21-16 and 21-12 in 65 minutes.

The Chinese ace said despite not setting any target for this tournament, she will give her best shot to win it since she has already entered the last four.

“My opponent tomorrow will have home ground advantage, so, I have to prepare well for it and I will try my best to win,” she said.

However, her path to the final would not be an easy ride as eighth seed Pornpawee says she too is determined to be in the final for her home tournament.

“Although I just recovered from injuries, I m in good condition now to fight for a slot in the final. To play in the final for your home tournament will be an honour,” she said. — BERNAMA / pic AFP