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Malaysia’s top men singles Lee Zii Jia had to concede defeat to Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the second round of the PETRONAS Malaysia Open (PMO) 2022 earlier today at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.


In the match that lasted more than an hour, Zii Jia just could not come to grips in spite of playing in front of the home fans, when Rhustavito calmly took the first set 21-19.


Considering the past record between the two shuttlers with Zii Jia having the slight advantage at 4-3, the battle was always going to be intense with the 24-year-old duly taking the second set 21-19.


But the third and decisive battle would be pivotal as Rhustavito kept his nerves intact to win 21-16 and a place into the next round.


“My opponents played really well today. Even though I tried to get back into the game, my mistakes put paid to my challenge this year,” Zii Jia said.


Meanwhile, national men's doubles Ong Yew Sin-Teoh Ee Yi ensured their progress to the quarterfinal stage of the tournament by beating tournament's fourth seed Lee Yang-Wang Chi Lin of Chinese Taipei.


Yew Sin-Ee Yi needed just 41 minutes to beat the formidable duo - who are also the 2020 Tokyo Olympic champions - with a straight set 21-17, 21-18 victory.


“We were able to control the game well today and with the solid support from the fans, that really gave us the confidence. We knew they were not easy opponents but our tactics on the day paid off,” Yew Sin added.


Ee Yi complimented that they did not want to disappoint the home supporters and fought hard to advance as far as possible in the Malaysian Open this time.


“I heard tickets were all sold out from the quarterfinals to the finals stages, so we want to make sure the fans will continue to support us as much as possible in their own turf,” Ee Yi said.


Meanwhile, national women's pair Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah had to swallow the bitter pill of defeat to the lesser-known Chinese pair Zhang Shu Xian-Zheng Yu, 19-21, 14-21.


According to Thinaah, their pivotal mistake that they followed the rhythm of the Chinese pair too much and that put them under intense pressure.


"We did not play usual game; we made a lot of mistakes. We have to re-analyse our game for the next tournament," said Thinaah.


“We have to admit that our opponents played better and I have to apologise to all the supporters who came today. We are as disappointed as they are that we could not deliver them the win,” said Pearly.


In the meantime, the two Malaysian mixed doubles ended their campaign in the second round with Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai conceding 21-10, 18-21 and 17-21 to South Korea’s Kim Wan Ho-Jeong Na Eun.


"Sure, we are disappointed because we made a lot of mistakes especially at crucial moments in the game. We need to do better for the Malaysian Masters," admitted Shevon.


For youngsters Chen Tang Jie-Valeree Siow, they gained invaluable lesson in their 16-21, 10-21 defeat to the tournament top pair of Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong from China in the exchange that lasted just 27 minutes.


“This match taught us a lot to further improve our performance, because their game pattern is really at a high level. We have to keep working to improve our communication and speed,” Tang Jie added.


On the other hand, Malaysia’s young women's doubles pair Anna Ching Yik Cheong-Teoh Mei Xing created the biggest surprise of their careers when they defeated top South Korean pair Lee So Hee-Shin Seung Shan today.


Anna Ching-Mei Xing – ranked 44th in the world - dumped the tournament’s second seeded side 18-21, 21-12, 21-15 in an intense match that lasted 54 minutes.


“After losing the first set, our coach instructed us to stay focussed and to play a more attacking game. We really can’t believe that we could beat them,” Mei Xing said.


“Certainly, this win means a lot to our career and we are motivated to go further,” Anna added.