Zii Jia and Kian Meng-Pei Jing falter in semi-final stage


Malaysia's Chow Mei Kuan - Lee Meng Yean in action against Thailand's Jongkolphan Kititharakul - Rawinda Prajongjai at second days of Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open 2019 at Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. FAIHAN GHANI/The Star.

PETALING JAYA: It was a disappointing semi-final outings for Malaysia’s top singles player Lee Zii Jia and independent mixed doubles pair Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing as they failed to live up to their billings in the Swiss Open.

However, world No. 30 women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah saved Malaysia the blushes when they pulled off an upset win over world No. 10 compatriots Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean 10-21,21-14,21-16 to reach the final.

Second seeded Zii Jia was stopped 18-21,10-21 by fast-rising Thai teenager Kunlavut Vitidsarn in 41 minutes yesterday.

Kunlavut, already a three-time world junior champion, will now face Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in his first BWF World Tour final.

Despite the defeat, it was still a relatively successful outing for Zii Jia.

The 22-year-old had been through a lean spell since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out last year and was under criticism for early round defeats when Thailand hosted the first two legs of the World Tour events in January.

Zii Jia slipped to No. 11 in the world and his outing in Basel may just be the tonic he needs ahead of the All-England in two weeks time.

“After Thailand, I was looking to get my confidence back. I went through good tests here.

“I won against him (Kunlavut) before but he is a different player now.

“He’s definitely one of the rising players on the circuit, ” said Zii Jia, who did well to beat India’s Sai Praneeth 21-14,21-17 to reach the semis on Friday.

Meanwhile, Kian Meng-Pei Jing’s spirited run ended with a 19-21,10-21 defeat to French pair Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue earlier.

Playing their first tournament as an independent, they defeated India’s world No. 19 S. Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa 21-17,16-21,21-18 on Friday.

World No. 11 Gicquel-Delrue prevented an all-Malaysian semi-final by beating fourth seeds Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie 14-21,21-14,21-19 on Friday.

In men’s doubles, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik defeated Indonesia’s world junior champions Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin 21-18,9-21,21-16 to reach the last four on Friday.

They will take on Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel for a place in the final.

SEMI-FINALS

Men’s singles: Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt K. Srikanth (Ind) 21-13,21-19; Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Tha) bt Lee Zii Jia (Mas) 21-18,21-10.

Women’s singles: P.V. Sindhu (Ind) bt Mia Blichfeldt (Den) 22-20,21-10.

Women’s doubles: Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (Mas) bt Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (Mas) 10-21,21-14,21-16.

Mixed doubles: Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje (Den) bt Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith (Eng) 21-16,23-21; Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue (Fra) bt Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (Mas) 21-19,21-10.

QUARTER-FINALS

Men’s singles: Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Shesar Hiren Rhustavito (Ina) 21-17,21-12; Lee Zii Jia (Mas) bt Sai Praneeth (Ind) 21-14,21-17; Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Tha) bt Ajay Jayaram (Ind) 21-9,21-6; K. Srikanth (Ind) bt Kantaphon Wangcharoen (Tha) 21-19,21-15.

Men’s doubles: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (Mas) bt Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin (Ina) 21-18,9-21,21-16; Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Den) bt Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong (Mas) 21-17,16-21,21-13; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty (Ind) bt Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Mas) 12-21,21-19,21-12; Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Seidel (Ger) bt Nipitphon Phuangphuapet-Tanupat Viriyangkura (Tha) 21-14,18-21,21-9.

Women’s singles: Carolina Marin (Spa) bt Zhang Beiwen (US) 21-13,21-13; P.V. Sindhu (Ind) bt Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) 21-16,23-21; Mia Blichfeldt (Den) bt Phittayaporn Chaiwan (Tha) 21-10,21-7; Pornpawee Chochuwong-Line Christophersen (Den) 21-11,21-15.

Women’s doubles: Gabriela Stoeva-Stefani Stoeva (Bul) bt Maiken Fruergaard-Sara Thygesen (Den) 21-18,21-14; Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha) bt Selena Piek-Cheryl Seien (Ned) 21-19,21-13; Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (Mas) bt Amalie Magelund-Freja Ravn (Den) 21-19,21-10; Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (Mas) bt Rachel Honderich-Kristen Tsai (Can) 22-20,21-16.

Mixed doubles: Mathias Christiansen-Alexandra Boje (Den) bt Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 14-21,21-19,21-15; Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (Mas) bt Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa (Ind) 21-17,16-21,21-18; Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith (Eng) bt Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich (Ger) 14-21,21-14,21-10; Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue (Fra) bt Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie (Mas) 14-21,21-14,21-19.

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