KUALA LUMPUR: Everyone has to deal with personal issues at one time or another.
But managing it professionally will make all the difference – that’s former national No. 1 Lee Chong Wei’s brotherly advice to Lee Zii Jia ahead of the Singapore Open starting today.
Chong Wei did not elaborate on Zii Jia’s personal problem but he wants his 21-year-old teammate to get over the disappointment of losing in the first round at last week’s Malaysian Open.
“I hope Zii Jia will manage his personal issues well and won’t let it affect his performances on the court,” said Chong Wei.
Before the first-round exit, Zii Jia did well to reach the quarter-finals in the first four tournaments of the year.
“I was told by coach Hendrawan that Zii Jia’s progress is being held back by a personal problem,” said the 12-time Malaysian Open winner.
“It’s normal for a player to experience some off-court issues, he should be given the time and space to sort it out.
“Some players can still thrive despite their personal matters, but Zii Jia has found it hard to handle it.
“He needs to solve it and focus on his career.
“This is a crucial year, he must work hard and start producing results if he wants to make the top 16 in the world and qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
“So let’s hope he’ll be able to put his personal matters aside and do well in the Singapore Open this week.”
Zii Jia will open his campaign against South Korean Lee Hyun-il today.
He was initially drawn to face world No. 4 Son Wan-ho but the Korean ace had withdrawn after rupturing his left Achilles tendon in the National Championship two weeks ago.
The other men’s singles players in the fray are independent duo Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng.
Defending champions Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie will spearhead the nation’s challenge in the mixed doubles competition alongside world No. 5 Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei.
Malaysia are also counting on the men’s doubles – Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, Arif Abdul Latif-Nur Azriyn Ayub, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and Low Juan Shen-Chooi Kah Ming – to deliver the goods.
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