Zii Jia checks into Australian Open semi-finals

KUALA LUMPUR — Professional men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia continued his progress in the Australian Open, coming back from a set down to beat Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in the quarter-finals, today.

World number eight Zii Jia took 67 minutes to overcome seventh seed Nishimoto 16-21, 21-12, 21-12 at the Quaycentre, Sydney.

Zii Jia, who has now reached his third semi-final in four tournaments he played since the Thailand Open last month, will next face world number 37 Lee Chia Hao of Taiwan. Zii Jia has only won twice in their five encounters.

Meanwhile, professional mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing also advanced to the semi-finals after defeating compatriots Choong Hon Jian-Go Pei Kee, 21-15, 23-21.

The fifth seeds are set to face an uphill task against world number five and top seeds, Jiang Zhen Bang-Wei Ya Xin of China.

Kian Meng-Pei Jing lost all three of their previous matches against the 2023 World Championship bronze medalists, including at last week’s Indonesia Open semi-finals.

It was a double joy for the 31-year-old scam victim Pei Jing, who also reached the women’s doubles semi-finals.

Pei Jing and her partner Lim Chiew Sien beat Polina Buhrova-Yevheniia Kantemyr of Ukraine 21-17, 21-19 to set up a clash against Yeung Nga Ting-Yeung Pui Lam of Hong Kong.

In the men’s doubles, third seeds Choong Hon Jian-Muhammad Haikal Nazri are the sole Malaysian representatives to reach semi-finals after two other pairs crashed out.

The 2024 Orleans Masters champions defeated Rizky Hidayat-Frengky Wijaya Putra of Australia 21-16, 18-21, 21-12 to challenge top seeds He Ji Ting-Ren Xiang Yu of China, who ousted Malaysia’s Kang Khai Xing-Aaron Tai 21-14, 21-12 in a 27-minute match.

The country’s young men’s doubles pair of Wan Muhammad Arif Shaharuddin Wan Junaidi-Yap Roy King were stunned by Taiwan’s Chen Zhi Ray-Lin Yu Chieh, losing 14-21, 17-21 in another quarter-final match. — BERNAMA