Zii Jia exacts sweet revenge on Naraoka to reach semis

Tough challenge: Lee Zii Jia will play China’s Shi Yuqi in the All-England semi-finals today.

PETALING JAYA: Shuttler Lee Zii Jia has made the All-England in Birmingham his special home.

The world No. 4 exacted sweet revenge against Japan’s Kodai Naraoka to reach his fourth consecutive men’s singles semi-finals at the Utilita Arena yesterday.

The independent shuttler, who has been going from strength to strength in the prestigious tournament, stayed steady to beat Naraoka 21-9, 10-21, 21-13 in a rollercoaster quarter-final match.

The Malaysian got off to an explosive start but could not sustain the same momentum in the second, as Naraoka raced to take the second.

In the deciding game, Zii Jia showcased his determination to lead all the way from the start to the end despite a strong challenge from his opponent.

The victory enabled Zii Jia to even the score with world No. 6 Naraoka, whom he had narrowly lost to, in the first round of the Malaysian Open in January.

Zii Jia has another tough test next as he faces China’s world No. 12 Shi Yuqi for a place in the final.

The 24-year-old Malaysian needs to be on his toes as he has only beaten Yuqi once in four meetings with his sole victory coming in the 2020 Malaysian Masters.

In their last encounter, Zii Jia came out second best to the Chinese in the final of the Denmark Open last October.

Zii Jia, who has been trying to regain his confidence after a poor run of form will be hoping to reach his second final in Birmingham after winning the title in 2021.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Badminton

Zii Jia fails to clears first hurdle at Singapore Open
Rexy finds it hard to split Arif-Roy King after Sze Fei-Izzuddin’s reunion
Walkover in first round leaves Wei Chong-Kai Wun fresh for second
This title given by Agong is worth the wait, says Cheng Hoe
Mum-to-be Liu Ying advises retired athletes to keep working
Selangor lass out to shine in Singapore after winning award
Rosman: Good to see four pairs pushing each other for Paris
Title from King worth the wait, says 1967 Thomas Cup winner
Kunlavut shows he’s back to his best with dominant win in home final
The key to Paris

Others Also Read