Zii Jia beats childhood rival to set up Momota showdown in China

By Nicolas Anil 5 November 2019 184
Zii Jia beats childhood rival to set up Momota showdown in China
Lee Zii Jia ended his first-round jinx after he beat childhood rival Loh Kean Yew at the Fuzhou China Open on Tuesday.

The Malaysian men’s singles shuttler was looking to bounce back after losing in the opening rounds of the Denmark Open and French Open last month.

In China, Lee was up against Loh for only the second time on the professional circuit, and fell to a 19-21 loss in the opening set.

He trailed the second game 16-17, but recovered with five consecutive points to win 21-18.

The world number 13 was fully in control of the decider and eventually strolled to a 21-12 victory.

Lee’s reward is another date with reigning world champion Kento Momota.

The Japanese had his work cut out against Malaysia’s Liew Daren, who retired in the second set after losing the opener 17-21.

The upcoming game would be Lee's fourth game against the world number one this year, after losing all three encounters at the Sudirman Cup, World Championships and Korea Open in straight games.

"Momota is a player who for me is a class above the rest at this point. He is patient, has good stamina and can switch the tempo of the game in an instant.

"But it is one of my main goals this year to beat him," said Lee recently.

Mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing also advanced after they overcame Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yang-Yang Ching-tun 21-10, 21-16.

They will next face either Lee Jhe-huei-Hsu Ya Ching or Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the second round.

In the men’s doubles, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi crashed out 17-21, 10-21 to Chinese Taipei’s Lu CHing-yao-Yang Po-han.

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Nicolas Anil