National number three, Lee Zii Jia is showing that he is ready to take up the mantle as Malaysia’s numero uno in the future as he displayed his new found confidence in overcoming Kenta Nishimoto in the second round of the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2019 (PMM 2019) held at the Axiata Arena, KL Sports City, Bukit Jalil today.
Having seen what Nishimoto did to compatriot and world number one, Kento Momota in an all Japanese affair yesterday, the 37th ranked player must have been wary of the threat posed by the 11th ranked player in their match up.
But the 1.86m tall lad from Alor Setar, showed that he wasn’t overawed by the occasion and buoyed by the home crowd, Zii Jia emerged victorious, 21-15, 21-17 in 38 minutes.
It was a hard slog for the 20 year old who had to go through two rounds of qualifying before dispatching Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk from Thailand in the first round yesterday and ousting last year’s runners up today.
He will meet defending champion and idol, Viktor Axelsen in today’s quarter final after the Denmark ace defeated his compatriot, Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus, 21-18, 21-19.
“Actually, Viktor is my idol. My wish to meet him because I have never met him before,” said Zii Jia after the match.
“Even though he just got back from injury, I’m sure as a professional player, he has his own way of recovery.
“On my side, after recovering from my own injury, I am beginning to find my form. Hopefully, I can carry this form into April for the Olympic qualification period,” added Zii Jia.
Rising star, Goh Jin Wei also followed where she left off yesterday, by marching into the last eight after beating Zhang Yiman of China, 21-13-21-10. Prior to that, the world junior champion created a sensational upset when she ousted the fifth ranked player in the world, Akane Yamaguchi from Japan.
Her reward is a match up with another Chinese player and fifth seed, He Bingjiao who defeated Fitriani Fitriani from Indonesia, 21-14, 21-11.
Up and coming men’s doubles pair, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, did the unthinkable, ousting defending champions and fifth seeds, Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto from Indonesia, 26-24, 21-15 in the second round.
Heir to the throne, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie have the chance to stake their claim as the numero uno mixed doubles pair in the country when they take on Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying in the quarter finals tomorrow.
Fifth seeds, Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, booked their place in the last eight when they defeated Japanese pair, Takuro Hoki-Wakana Nagahara, 21-13-21-19 in 32 minutes.
Meanwhile, third seeds, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying who were crowned Thailand Masters champion last Sunday, went through after overcoming Chinese combination, Lu Kai-Chen Lu after a battling display, 17-21, 21-17, 21-15 in 58 minutes.
For those who want to catch Zii Jia’s exploits and the other Malaysians in action, tickets can be purchased online through website https://myticket.asia/ or on match day at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur Sports City (KLSC).
Tickets are priced at between RM18 and RM75 depending on the seating (upper, lower and premium). Children from between four years and 18 years can enjoy discounts of up to 50% till the quarter- finals (Premium and Lower Tier) and discounts up to the final (for Upper Tier). There are also VIP passes and season passes on offer.
With the status of BWF World Tour Super 500, Perodua Malaysia Masters 2019 offers a total cash prize of US$350,000.
PMM 2019 Second Round Full Results (Malaysia only)
GOH Soon Huat- LAI Shevon Jemie won Takuro HOKI- Wakana NAGAHARA (Japan) 21-13 21-19
CHAN Peng Soon- GOH Liu Ying won LU Kai- CHEN Lu (China) 17-21 21-17 21-15
Yulfira BARKAH- Jauza Fadhila SUGIARTO (Indonesia) won Vivian HOO- YAP Cheng Wen 21-9 21-18
LIEW Daren won Victor SVENDSEN (Denmark) 21-18 21-7
Kim ASTRUP- Anders Skaarup RASMUSSEN (Denmark) won CHOOI Kah Ming- LOW Juan Shen 21-13 21-14
Aaron CHIA- SOH Wooi Yik mng Fajar ALFIAN- Muhammad Rian ARDIANTO (Indonesia) 26-24 21-15
LEE Zii Jia won Kenta NISHIMOTO (Japan) 21-15 21-17
GOH Jin Wei won ZHANG Yiman (China) 21-13 21-10
GOH V Shem- TAN Wee Kiong won Mohammad AHSAN- Hendra SETIAWAN (Indonesia) 21-19 24-22
ONG Yew Sin- TEO Ee Yi won David DAUGAARD- Frederik SØGAARD (Denmark) 21-13 14-21 21-10