PETALING JAYA: Lee Zii Jia was not ready for a return to the court after all.
The world No. 7 took no chances with his lower back injury when he retired from his first-round meeting against Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke at the Indonesian Masters in Bali yesterday.
Zii Jia, who sustained the injury in the Hylo Open final against Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew on Nov 8, managed to play for 13 minutes before calling it quits at the first-game interval while trailing 9-11.His decision to play it safe was understandable as he knew that this week’s result would not have much impact on his chances to qualify for the World Tour Finals from Dec 1-5, which culminates in the three back-to-back events including next week’s Indonesian Open (Nov 23-28).
Zii Jia is currently ranked first in the Race to Bali rankings and is likely to remain in the top eight even if he does not feature in the second leg next week.
More over, there’s also the World Championships that he wouldn’t want to miss in Huelva, Spain from Dec 12-19.
It was also a day of mixed fortunes for our shuttlers.
Independent pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi brought in some cheer in the men’s doubles by ousting India’s world No. 11 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty.
Yew Sin-Ee Yi won 21-17, 21-15 to set up a last 16 meeting with unheralded home pair Sabar Gutama-Reza Isfahani, who prevented an all-Malaysian affair after getting the better of Tan Kian Meng-Tan Wee Kiong 13-21, 21-14, 21-17.
Also shown the exit were another recently formed professional pair Goh V Shem-Low Juan Shen.
They were beaten 18-21, 18-21 by French duo Ronan Labar-Lucas Corvee and their winless streak has now extended to a fourth tournament in a row.
Meanwhile, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani put the French Open disappointment behind them when they overcame new South Korean combination Seo Seung-jae-Kang Min-hyuk 21-10, 21-17.
In mixed doubles, fifth seeds Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying were shown an early exit again but two national pairs – Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei and Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See made it to the last 16.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
Men’s singles: Kento Momota (Jpn) bt Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) 21-12, 21-16; Lakhsya Sen (Ind) bt Kanta Tsuneyama (Jpn) 21-17, 18-21, 21-17; Rasmus Gemke (Den) bt Lee Zii Jia (Mas) 11-9 rtd; Toma Junior Popov (Fra) bt Heo Kwang-hee (Kor) 21-17, 21-14; Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) bt Thomas Rouxel (Fra) 22-20, 21-17; Loh Kean Yew (Sin) bt Wang Tzu-wei (Tpe) 17-21, 21-14, 21-15; Ng Ka Long (Hkg) bt Chico Wardoyo (Ina) 21-16, 21-19; Koki Watanabe (Jpn) bt Kantaphon Wangcharoen (Tha) 21-12, 21-14.
Men’s doubles: Marcus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya (Ina) bt Chol Sol-gyu-Kim Won-ho (Kor) 21-19, 21-17; Lucas Corvee-Ronan Labar (Fra) bt Goh V Shem-Low Juan Shen (Mas) 21-18, 21-18; Shobihul Fikri-Bagas Maulana (Ina) bt Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto (Ina) 13-21, 21-18, 22-20; Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani (Mas) bt Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae (Kor) 21-10, 21-17; Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi bt Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty (Ind) 21-17, 21-15; Sabar Gutama-Reza Isfahani (Ina) bt Tan Kian Meng-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) 13-21, 21-14, 21-17.
*Matches involving Malaysians only
Women’s doubles: Linda Efler-Isabel Lohau (Ger) bt Lee Meng Yean-Yap Cheng Wen (Mas) 21-19, 21-19.
Mixed doubles: Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See (Mas) bt Yujiro Nishikawa-Saori Ozaki (Jpn) 5-2, ret; Jones Ralfy Jansen-Linda Efler (Ger) bt Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 21-13, 21-19; Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei (Mas) bt Seo Seung-jae-Kim Hye-jeong (Kor) 21-17, 21-13.