Liew Daren believes Lee Zii Jia can go on to dominate men’s singles if he continues to be consistent and excel in tournaments as the Asian and Thailand Open champion moved to fifth on the world rankings.
Lee beat Liew, who is also his assistant coach, in the semi-finals of the Thailand Open before going on to seal his second consecutive title with a monumental victory over Li Shifeng.
That triumph left him on a 13-match winning streak, a record which Liew believes could pave the way for world domination in the near future.
“If he can maintain this sort of performance, he can go on to become world number one. I think once the rankings are unfrozen, he should move to second or third. He has been consistent throughout this year.
“His focus has grown now, since leaving the national body. He knows as an independent shuttler, his performances is all that matters,” Liew told Stadium Astro.
Besides winning the Badminton Asia Championships and Thailand Open, Lee also helped the national team win the Asia Team Championships and reached the semis of the German and All-England Open.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) world rankings, meanwhile, are set to return to normal after being frozen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The transition to a live 52-week world ranking is due to begin in August, with the complete ranking set to be out in January next year.
Despite being unsure of what his ranking would be, Liew was not concerned by it as he focused on his game's improvement since joining Lee’s team.
One of the most significant improvements was his durability on court, where he battled to three games in all his matches at the Thailand Open before losing to Lee.
“Before this I did not have a coach. Now we have a full-time coach who looks after us, and a physio too. It’s a full team and it’s making plenty of difference. I honestly did not expect to reach the semis of the Thailand Open, as I had a tough first match.
“I can keep this momentum up, provided I maintain my training and fitness,” he added.
Both Lee and Liew will be playing in Indonesia next, beginning with the Indonesia Masters (June 7-12).
Lee has a bye against Kantaphon Wangcharoen, while Liew faces Lu Guangzu.