KUALA LUMPUR: National men's singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia gave credit to the home fans after he stunned Danish world No. 4 Anders Antonsen in the first round of the Perodua Malaysian Masters at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday (Jan 8).
The world No. 14 could not have asked for a more perfect start to the year as he came back from a set down with a masterful performance to outclass Antonsen 14-21,21-15,21-8.
It was also Zii Jia's first win against the Dane, with the 21-year-old Malaysian having lost in their previous two meetings.
"I really have to thank the fans who kept on supporting me even after I performed poorly in the first game. They kept cheering me on and it gave me the boost I needed," said Zii Jia.
"It was my first tournament of the year so I was also a bit nervous and I played into his game, but in the second set I was told by my coach to enjoy myself and I became more relaxed and was able to play my game.
Zii Jia's is Malaysia's sole representative in the men's singles event after world No. 30 Liew Daren put up a gritty display against Indonesia's young star and world No. 6 Jonatan Christie before he went down 10-21,21-16,15-21.
In the men's doubles event, world No. 26 pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani were no match for South Korea's Kim Duk-young-Kim Sa-rang as the Malaysians went down 15-21,17-21.
While in the women's doubles Teoh Mei Xing-Yap Ling were also outplayed by Japan's Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida as they went down 19-21,14-21.
Only Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah remain as the last pair standing when they trumped over their teammates Anna Cheong-Lim Chiew Sien 21-15,21-10 to step into the second round.
And it was double joy for Pearly who produced the stunner of the day when together with Man Wei Chong, the world No. 89 pair took out world No. 5 and SEA Games champions Praveen Jordan-Melati Oktavianti of Indonesia 21-18,21-13 in the mixed doubles event.
They will be joined by world No. 6 pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying who had no problems defeating their junior compatriots Low Hang Yee-Lim Chiew Sien 21-7,21-11.
World No. 8 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie did well to overcome China's 13th ranked pair He Jiting-Du Yue 21-12,21-19.
However, it was the end of the road for Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See who were simply outclassed by China's world No. 2 Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping 21-13,21-10
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